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Thread: Popular Photogenic Sites/Locations in Yosemite NP

  1. #11

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    Re: Popular Photogenic Sites/Locations in Yosemite NP

    My favorite spot is not in the valley. It's along the road from the Arch Rock entrance up to Pohono Bridge. Ansel's tree has been washed away, but there are still good spots. If you go early morning before the breeze begins to stir the surface of the Merced, you can get some really nice reflection shots. If the conditions are good, there is a possibility of some great shots of falls that nobody notices. These are not "Oh Wow!" images. They are subtle and soft compositions. More like "Oh, nice."
    There are 3 kinds of people in the world: those who can count and those who can't.

  2. #12
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Popular Photogenic Sites/Locations in Yosemite NP

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidFisk View Post
    My favorite spot is not in the valley. It's along the road from the Arch Rock entrance up to Pohono Bridge. Ansel's tree has been washed away...
    I did like that tree!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Merced_Oak_Roots_YNP.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  3. #13

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    Re: Popular Photogenic Sites/Locations in Yosemite NP

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    I did like that tree!
    Me too. The only time I shot it, there was a fire in the park (2008, methinks.) The smoke invaded the valley, but it did have the salutary effect of turning the morning light very warm, which is when I made my only image of the tree. Not bad, but I decided a different composition would have been better. Next time I went back to reshoot, the tree was gone. Bottom line lesson: take the shot now; tomorrow may never come.
    There are 3 kinds of people in the world: those who can count and those who can't.

  4. #14

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    Re: Popular Photogenic Sites/Locations in Yosemite NP

    FWIW Mariposa Grove is still closed due to storm damage.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Popular Photogenic Sites/Locations in Yosemite NP

    I grew up right across the San Joaquin River just to the south of Yosemite. We called it "the city". I can't recall taking more than six pictures in Yosemite Valley itself in my entire life; but at least two of them are arguably classic. I have spent many many days in adjacent high country. And I have also spent countless drives all around the lower hill country below, involving a considerably greater number of LF images, both color and b&w. I finally got around to printing an 8X10 color shot two days ago that I actually took about twenty years ago. The whole point can be summed up in one word - ENJOY! Try too hard and you'll miss everything, just like every other nervous tourist. No, you won't see it all. You can't, not even in eight lifetimes. Forget all the "must sees". See something of your own; take a little quality time. It's a good time of year, before the tourists and motorhomes outnumber even the mosquitoes higher up. I'm contemplating a brief drive that way myself, perhaps into Yos Valley, perhaps not. The specifics don't matter; there is always something worthy of a shot.

  6. #16

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    Re: Popular Photogenic Sites/Locations in Yosemite NP

    Drew is right!
    Enjoy the experience of being there first.
    AA would have wanted it that way
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Popular Photogenic Sites/Locations in Yosemite NP

    In the high country I have accidentally stumbled onto a few of AA's exact tripod positions, simply because it involved a wet meadow with a single conspicuous big flat rock as the only logical tripod platform anywhere around, or the only evident spot where the view wasn't blocked by trees, that kind of practical issue. But I came away with completely different pictures. I see things differently. Even if I had hypothetically aimed the camera the same direction, and used a comparable lens choice, the lighting is never exactly the same. One of my closer to home long-term projects has been to photograph the same buckeye tree year after year, both in color and black and white. No two shots are the same. I could do an entire exhibition of that single tree if opportunity arose. Nothing would be repetitious; there is always something new to discover, and either a new way of looking at it, or a new way of printing it.

    If I do head Yosemite way sometime soon, of course the camera will inevitably be aimed at some grand feature which has been photographed thousands of times over. But I'm equally certain what I get will be unique nonetheless, and it won't resemble any postcard. The lighting is always changing, and therefore the details. Even the profile of El Capitan, which my own nephew has climbed at least 150 times, looks utterly different in the way Watkins variously photographed it, from how Muybridge then did it, then Adams in his own manner many times, and likewise me in that one instance I homed in on it on edge from a high precarious vantage point, barely big enough for my Sinar and tripod. The point is to soak in the light, maybe even study it leisurely through the ground glass, enjoy it for its own sake. Look for the hidden details. Hunt for your own little private space away from the herd, even if its just a dozen yards away. Finding fresh material is easy. The light itself is constantly renewing things. No two days are exactly the same, or ever will be.

    I even have telephoto shots of notable geologic features taken right from Hwy 120 turnouts up around Tenaya and Tioga that I have never seen published examples of, even though hundreds of cars drive right past the same opportunities every single day during summer. But the minute people see my tripod set up, they suddenly pull over and start wildly shooting their dlsr's and cell phones vaguely the same direction, not having a clue what is actually there. It's rude, and I worry about potential dust, but never about seeming plagiarism. Even if they had exactly the same gear as me, and were right beside me, they wouldn't get the same composition. We each see things differently, and that's what's important to cultivate. When it comes to this kind of work, a contemplative sniper is going to hit the target far more often than any machine gunner.

  8. #18
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Popular Photogenic Sites/Locations in Yosemite NP

    Latest news - Yosemite is going back to a mandatory reservation system for anyone wanting to enter to prevent covid-related overcrowding risk. It might start May 1st, but check their website for details.

  9. #19
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    Re: Popular Photogenic Sites/Locations in Yosemite NP

    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  10. #20

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    Re: Popular Photogenic Sites/Locations in Yosemite NP

    I went in Feb when the reservation system was just installed. No problem getting the reservation. However, they were not supposed to charge the $33 fee if you have a lifetime pass, but there was no way to avoid it on the internet site. So I charged it anyway. When I showed my pass at the entrance the first day, I was told I should not have had to pay the fee. But the ranger acknowledged that there was a programming glitch that forced the charge but I was assured of a refund. They gave me written instructions on how to do it. Wellll......the instructions weren't quite correct either. But at least I did locate a phone number to speak with a humanoid. After giving the number on my pass and other ancillary info, I was assured the claim would be sent for processing. That was February. I'm still waiting.
    There are 3 kinds of people in the world: those who can count and those who can't.

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