2019 Yosemite National Park Photo Safari
Yosemite National Park
Visit the iconic Yosemite National Park for more than four days of capturing the world-renowned views of Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Tuolumne Meadow and the magnificent vistas presented by the sculptured mountain sides trees and waterways. First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more. Yosemite’s epic scenery freely lends itself to the artist’s eye like only a few places can. For many, Yosemite is a natural source of never-ending inspiration. The bouncing of light, graceful effervescence of water, and stoic mountain lines have provoked artists of all backgrounds and mediums to create works of art. Not surprisingly, many artists have played a role- directly or indirectly- in the promotion and protection of Yosemite National Park. Recognizing this meaningful influence in Yosemite’s history, various opportunities to explore art in its many forms are available to visitors.
The tentative itinerary is as follows:
Sunday, June 23: Fly to Sacramento International Airport and meet the group. After collecting our luggage and the car, we will proceed to Yosemite National Park, about a three-hour drive, arriving in the late afternoon. Once check-in is completed, we will take a short break to freshen up and then head out to scout potential photography sites for the next four days. Depending on conditions, we might be lucky enough to catch sunset against the rocks. With the low levels of ambient light within the park, we hope to be able to do night photography of the skies.
Monday, June 24: Plan on an early start today, to capture sunrise in the park with a return to the lodge for breakfast. We will continue to some park areas away from the valley floor, to see other points of view for photography. In the afternoon, we plan to meet a staff photographer who will spent four hours with us, showing us areas off the beaten path and providing photography tips for improving our images.
Tuesday, June 25 -Thursday, June 27: Breakfast at the lodge. Visit areas of the park, including sunrises and sunsets (weather permitting). We plan to visit as much of the park as possible to photograph the different geologic and climatic conditions. It may be desirable to return to sites already visited to record images under different weather and lighting conditions. The exact itinerary will depend on weather and will be decided closer to the trip. Thursday night we plan to drive back to Sacramento, where we will stay overnight in order to catch our flights Friday morning.
Located near the South entrance to Yosemite are the giant sequoia trees of the Mariposa Grove. Some of these trees date back 2,400 years and reach sizes of 90 ft in diameter and over 210 ft tall. Mariposa Grove can be shot at any time of the day (especially with cloud cover), but the early morning light to be the best (Plus it is always nice to get in and walk around before the crowds come).
Located in the high sierras, Tuolumne Meadows is a beautiful location that sadly doesn’t get the attention that Yosemite Valley does. While it doesn’t have the giant icons of the valley like Half Dome, it is an incredible beautiful and serene meadow that is worth exploring at either sunset or sunrise here.
One of the most iconic views of Yosemite can be found at the Tunnel View lookout point. While this location is generally a sunset location (to help get some color on El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls and Half Dome), an early morning trip here could prove fruitful if it is cold enough to bring a layer of fog into the valley. Wait too long and the mid-morning sun will burn it all off.
One of the best known scenes of the park, the El Capitan massive granite face will be one of the first things seen when entering Yosemite Valley. Because of its location and the direction it faces, plus its size, there is nice light on El Capitan during both sunrise and sunset (although the latter is certainly more popular). It is best viewed from Tunnel View, Gates of the Valley, the field near Bridalveil Creek, El Capitan Meadow, Cathedral Picnic Area. Valley View is a good place for sunset shots and possible reflections.
Half Dome is the icon for the park itself and is also used around the world, including in the logo for North Face. Most photographers attempt to capture Half Dome during a storm when there is dramatic light or during sunset. With sunrise, the sun often rises at the wrong angle most of the year, although with the right clouds, there are some pretty amazing photos. There are a variety of spots to get awesome views of Half Dome: Sentinel Bridge, field opposite Lower Yosemite Falls trail head, Glacier Point, field opposite Curry Village, Merced River Spot outside Yosemite Village parking (sunset). There is also a good view point from the Oak Flats Road, on the way into the park, and it is less crowded. A good sunset view of Half Dome is from Sentinel Bridge.
A gorgeous series of three granite peaks set in the heart of Yosemite Valley. The Three Brothers are great if there are dramatic clouds. Catching it at sunset can also be pretty spectacular! The best view is from a spot near Sentinel Beach, when there is no wind.
If there is time, located past the Eastern Entrance to Yosemite National Park, is the small town of Lee Vining at the gorgeous saline body of water, Mono Lake. Most photographers that visit Yosemite also try to spend at least one or two days photographing Mono as the mineral deposits that have created large tufas towers along the southern edge of the lake are fun to photograph. Both sunset and sunrise here are good, although the sunrise is what normal is recommended. This is a three-hour drive from the lodge (one way).
This trip will allow practice and integration of techniques learned in classes. A minimum of 4 participants is required for this trip to be executed, with a maximum of 7 participants, so there is time for each participant to receive the instructor’s attention and guidance. Participants are requested to process images daily and to deliver 15 images to the instructor at the trip termination. Further details of the deliverable format will be provided on the first day of the trip.
The cost of the trip is $2,275, based on double occupancy. An additional single occupancy supplement of $510 is available if needed. A deposit of $700 is required when registering, with final payment due 60 days prior to the trip (April 23). Recommended equipment and packing suggestions will be provided when the final payment is made.
Included: Transportation from and back to Sacramento International Airport (excluding gas), entry fees to the park, Yosemite National Park staff photographer session, lodging and full attention from our instructor.
Not Included in the trip cost: Airfare to and from Sacramento International Airport; gas, meals, other than those specified in the itinerary; personal expenses (laundry, bar, gifts) and tips for guides. Costs for food and gas will be divided at the end of the trip. Travel insurance is highly recommended (we can obtain it for you).
A minimum of 4 participants is required for this trip; maximum is 7.