Three Day Trip To Yosemite ~ Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by Jim Moore, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    I am thinking very seriously about making a three day trip to do some photographing in Yosemite.

    Fly out one day, photograph all day on day two and fly home on day three.

    Any suggestions on the best spots to photograph at? Locations that I should Not miss?

    Thanks in advance.

    Jim
     
  2. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Don't do it this time of year. You won't be able to get any decent shots without a herd of people in the way. Go in the late fall, or early spring. The light is better and no crowds. Kevin also lives near Yosemite and probably have a few favorite places to direct you too.
     
  3. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    Thanks Aggie.

    I was thinking late September, early October.

    Jim
     
  4. bmac

    bmac Member

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    In my opinion, you'll be very sad after your one day of shooting. Try to spread it out at least for two full days of shooting.

    On Day 1 take the valley floor tour. They stop at most of the hotspots. Take a small or medium format camera with you on the tour. Take mental notes of the places you'd like to return to.

    I wouldn't worry about the people getting in the way. What I have done in the past is get up at the crack of dawn and start driving to the locations I want. Most tourists are still asleep.

    Have fun, I'll be up that way at the end of August.
     
  5. fingel

    fingel Member

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    Hi Jim,
    October is a great time to go, one thing though, if you plan of shooting waterfalls, there are none in October, they are usually dry (or close to dry) by then. But the fall color is beautiful if you hit it right. Most of the vistas you recognize are right off the road so they are readily accessible. I have some shots I made last year on my website
    http://homepage.mac.com/fingel/PhotoAlbum3.html
    Most of those shots were within steps of the road.
    Have fun on your trip. Let us know how it goes.
     
  6. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Actually right now is the best time to go because all the tourist are at the valley floor area. I am up there at least 2 to 3 times a week and the place you want to hike is the glacier point area. Now not the tourist glacier point but the hikes around the area.

    The traffic is low as most people do not want to hike more than a mile. Also hit Tioga pass. You can get some stellar images but you have to walk. This is the best time to go as 90% of the tourists head to the valley while the locals hit the high sierras and upper elevations.

    Also do not forget the Sonora pass. Really beautiful and there are some really nice hikes along that route as well. You could take Sonora pass down to 395(I think that is it) then head over to mono lake and bodie then back through Tioga pass via Yosemite! It is beautiful.


    Kev
     
  7. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Of course, if your goal is to photograph the tourists.....
     
  8. kswatapug

    kswatapug Advertiser

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    Three days, two of which are travel , to photograph Yosemite in summer is a tough row to hoe.

    If one is flying their own plane, can arrange for a car, and touch down at one of the small municipal airports just outside the park, it could be a productive trip. Otherwise, almost all your time will be spent getting there. It is two and a half hours from Fresno to Yosemite Valley in good traffic. About four from the Bay Area. In summer, the routes to and through the park (two-lane highways) are busy.

    If one has the ability, the most preferable option would be to land in Lee Vining adjacent to beautiful Mono Lake, followed by Groveland (say hi to Kevin) or Mariposa. Mariposa is the least desirable only because I would favor working in the high country because the waterfalls are puny this time of year and the roads congested as folks make the loop in their cars looking for parking, lunch and scenery. Unless you are obsessed with the icons of Yosemite Valley, you are better off up high where the air is cooler, there are fewer folks, and spring is just peaking. Mind you, I am speaking from the perspective of a color enthusiast.

    Mariposa is a one-hour drive from Yosemite Valley, but over two hours to Tuolumne Meadows. It takes a little less time to get to the high country from Groveland, and about fifteen minutes from Lee Vining.

    With the right light, anything in the park can be spectacular any time of year. But the best light in Yosemite Valley is typically from October through March. There is more colorful light, lower angle and less intense. One can easily work all day. But the high country, which does not feature the concentrated beauty of Yosemite Valley, is stunning as well and not accessible by auto except from late June through October, typically.

    The exposed granite, twisted junipers, sparkling lakes, meadows spilling over with wildflowers (and mosquitoes) are compelling subjects, many of which just mean stepping out of a car at a turnout. But three days? I lived in Yosemite Valley for fourteen years and it just whet my appetite.

    Give yourself some time for a proper visit where you can truly soak it in. If you want some ideas, go to www.yosemite.org and pick up a copy of Michael Frye's photographers guide to Yosemite. He worked hard to map out the most popular photo spots. Excellent book. Should cost twice what it does.

    As for crowds, it can be busy, with most of the people concentrated in the seven square miles of Yosemite Valley around the parking lots, restaurants and overnight accommodations. David Brower used to say, "The number of people one encounters in Yosemite is proportional to the square of the distance one is from a parking lot and the cube of the elevation one gains." In short, get out of your car and you'll have a much more pleasant experience, even if it is just for a day.
     
  9. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    Thanks everyone for the great info. I still want to do this even though I wouldn't have a lot of time for the trip. I might be able to make it to a four day trip.

    My wife even thinks this would be a fun. And if I take her with me I'll have someone to help carry my equipment :D

    Jim
     
  10. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    Another question.

    Does anyone know if there would be any place around the area where you could rent a tripod?

    I'm not sure how I would be able to take my heavy Zone VI tripod with me.

    Jim
     
  11. kswatapug

    kswatapug Advertiser

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    Your best rental options are limited to the larger cities (especially San Fransisco). Within the park, The Ansel Adams Gallery rents some equipment, but is geared for enthusiasts and not on par with Zone VI monster pods. I believe they rent lighweight tripods for $7 per day (Goldcrest? brand). If you plan carefully, you could ship your tripod via FEDEX Express Saver (they only guarantee two-day delivery to the park anyway) or UPS which delivers to the Ansel Adams Gallery daily M-F, and then ship it back home when you are done. More expensive perhaps, but less of a hassle?
     
  12. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    I had thought about shipping it ahead, but wasn't sure where to ship it to that would hold it for me. If the Adams Gallery accepts shipments like this I think this would be the way to go.

    I am planning on shipping all of my exposed film back home via FedEX anyway.

    Thanks!

    Jim
     
  13. kswatapug

    kswatapug Advertiser

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    You can give them a call and explain your situation (209)-372-4413 and see what they can do. If for some reason they won't take delivery (doubtful), then one of the hotels should be able to help out. The Gallery is a great place to start any photo trip to the park anyway. Good for inspiration and ideas. The staff is knowledgeable and helpful and the portfolios on the back counter will help you zero in subject matter.

    Another couple of inspirational sources for visual ideas are two DVDs. The first is called "Spirit of Yosemite" and is shown in the Visitor Center next to the Gallery (and you can buy it from www.yosemite.org in advance of your visit) and "Watersongs" by Sterling Johnson, which I know is sold in all the park stores.
     
  14. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    If you ship your tripod, ask for Carolos Herrera. He is in charge of their workshops at the Ansel Adams gallery. If you rent, Adolph Gassers in San Francisco does rentals. They are not to far off the freeway (just a few blocks), and have actual free parking across the street. If it is over a weekend, they do not charge for Sat. and Sun.
     
  15. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Hello Jim,

    I carry the Gitzo 1410 with me and it isn’t that bad depending on the hikes you want to take. As far as renting around this area there is nothing. There are a ton of 1-2 miles hikes you can take that will give you really breathtaking views and beautiful meadows.

    Also you have to hit the glacier point area as well as Tioga pass. But you will have to leave the car to get the some of the views as they are hidden from the roadways.

    Kev
     
  16. bmac

    bmac Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  17. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    I've read about St. Ansel's platform before, but never seen a photo of it.

    Cool :D

    Jim
     
  18. happysnapper

    happysnapper Member

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    St. Ansel's Platform

    Kinda gives new meaning to "woody" doesn't it?