Everybody shoots sunsets. I doubt if you could find a photographer, or any traveler with a camera, who hasn’t tried their hand at capturing that last light of the day. And I don’t blame them. I’ve shot more than a few sunsets myself. But unless you’re presented with a wonderful sky full of dramatic clouds, or some exceptional reflected color, your sunset shot isn’t going to turn any heads.
That’s why Rochelle and I try to study other astronomical events to see if we can incorporate them into our photography. And it turns out our favorite celestial body is often not the sun, but the moon. But before I get into the ins and “mostly” outs of shooting the moon, let me tell you a bit about our most recent weekend in Yosemite. Continue reading →
Part of being a good nature photographer is studying the weather. After our long, long, horribly long dry spell, it was great to finally see a weather report that said anything other than “unseasonably warm and dry for the foreseeable future”. Gad, I was sick of seeing that. I was also going nuts looking out at blue skies and brown grass. Where were the clouds? Where was the water?
Finally, we’re getting some much needed rain. And while it may end up being less than we need, it’s certainly more than we had. The hills are turning green, the streams are starting to flow, and most importantly, the storm clouds have returned to Yosemite. And that makes now the perfect time for Yosemite photography.
This will be the first year we get to take our Roadtrek Agile, Charley, to Yosemite in the Winter and I have to admit, I’m a bit nervous about driving those icy winter roads in my multi-ton Class B. However, I think if we stick to moderately dry weather days we’ll be okay. There is certainly a lot of motivation for going, because Winter is the very best time to photograph the park.
Most of the year, the great photographs of Yosemite can only happen in the very early morning and in the late afternoon. Those are the times of day when the sunlight is soft enough to avoid overly harsh contrast. But the light in the winter is low all day long, and many days are filled with clouds and fog, both of which even out the available light. There are some days in the Winter when you can shoot all day long while you enjoy the ever-changing light on Yosemite’s huge granite cliffs.
Yosemite Valley has fewer visitors in the off-season for two simple reasons. It can be difficult to get there, and difficult to get around once you’re there. Our favorite friend, and often our most hated foe, snow, stops most people in their tracks. It makes driving a challenge, camping a chore, and even changes the definition of “walking” from a “pleasant stroll” to a “contact sport”.
We’ve only had Charley for six months now, so we haven’t had a chance to try out our new Roadtrek Agile in the snow. I haven’t even picked up a set of chains, though I know I’ll have to soon. I’m not really in a hurry because our other vehicle, an all-wheel drive Subaru Outback, is amazing in the snow, and it’s even better when I switch out its summer shoes for a set of snow tires. Continue reading →
My wife and I are lucky enough to live so close to Yosemite that we’ve been there hundreds of times. After all these trips, we’ve discovered the best places to stay, the best places to eat and most importantly, the best places to take pictures. Read on, and we’ll share some of our secrets with you.
Yosemite used to have a well-defined off season. If you headed to the park in October or April, you would have the place to yourself. That’s no longer the case. Now, just about any month can be called “crowded” in comparison to other national parks. I blame the crowds on cameras. Everyone wants to take pictures with their new digital camera, and quite frankly, there’s no better place to take pictures then in Yosemite.
However, there are far less people in the park from early October to the end of April. And that’s especially true on weekdays, or in periods of “bad” weather. Continue reading →