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Old 12th of April 2012 (Thu)   #1
Gilthanass
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Default Yosemite

Hi everyone,

Ok, I have a very important ask of anyone who's been to Yosemite/shot there/etc (I figure it's probably at least partially a photography mecca due to Ansel Adams).

I am going on my honeymoon at the end of May. For the trip, we're going to be going to San Francisco, tour around the city, do some napa valley wine touring, and take the train from San Fran to Vancouver. Now, while in the San Francisco area, we're going to be renting a car and taking a trip into Yosemite. This is where you come in. I have less than 24 hours in the Yosemite valley, and I want to make the most of it. We were originally going to drive in, look around, and drive back to San Fran the same day (night) but my lovely wife to be suggested I would probably enjoy it more if I got 1 sunset and 1 sunrise while in the park.

So, the plan is to arrive at the park at about noon the next day, and leave the next morning (ish) (we're staying in a hotel, not in a tent). That leaves me with not too much time to get some good shots. I am an avid hiker/backcountry camper. My fiancee has been quite good about it, we've even taken a few ambitious hiking trips together, but I'm not sure she's really looking for a "kill ourselves to get the shot" kind of trail (she may want to enjoy her honeymoon, just guessing here).

So what I need from anyone who has been there (to get some nice shots) is some ideas of where to go, what trails I can hit, what times are best for the best locations. Usually I like to explore an area myself and get a feel for it, but sadly I don't have time for that (and we're from Ontario Canada, so it's unlikely we'll be back often, if at all). Anything from easy to hard to get to is good (though I'd appreciated it if you let me know which it is, so I don't have the shortest marriage in history).

As a side, any suggestions for locations to shoot at during other parts of our trip is appreciated. For reference, we're flying in to San Fran, touring the city (including Alcatraz), going to Yosemite, coming back through Napa Valley, taking the Coast Starlight (I think) train to Seattle, touring the city for 1 day, taking the train to Vancouver, touring BC for 3-4 days, flying home. Oh, and if you have any gear suggestions (I have a 40D, 70-200 4.0, 17-85 4-5.6, + tripod etc) please let me know. Of course, I probably won't get them (hard to justify the expense) but I'd like to dream.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 12th of April 2012 (Thu)   #2
Anzxio
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Default Re: Yosemite

Valley view is a good sunset one, and a classic shot. I did like the short walk up sentinel dome though, so that's worth a few hours of your time.
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Old 13th of April 2012 (Fri)   #3
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Default Re: Yosemite

I live about 60 miles from Yosemite, and have visited frequently over the past few years; I'd be glad to answer any questions, although I can't answer right now in depth; I'll try to come back and give more info tomorrow. Feel free to PM me any specific questions.

First, glad you decided to stay longer; driving in and out from SF wouldn't leave you much time to see much, and driving inside the valley is slow, and you may be dealing with crowded parking lots, slowing you down. As it is, you'll probably only have time to see the valley (which most tourists think is all of Yosemite, which is far from true).

Here's a resource I've found helpful when finding my own new hiking routes; it has pictures, descriptions, tells you if there's food/bathrooms, and ratings for difficulty, length, scenery, etc.:

http://www.yosemitehikes.com/

Off the top of my head, you'll probably go into the valley, stopping at Valley View (as Anzxio said, a classic sunset shot), and then you can do the valley loop, with stops at Bridal Veil Fall, Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, with lots of little places to stop and explore the Merced River and other spots. You can drive into the valley, take little short hikes to the bases of these falls and other nice views in perhaps half a day, depending on your travel speed, if you're taking a ton of shots, etc., leaving time for other stuff. I could be underestimating because I've been there enough that I target what I want to see.

One hike that's not as obvious from the road is Vernal Falls, which is most uphill, but a nice view.

Glacier Point Road should be open, which means you can go up to Glacier Point (another classic sunset spot, and they often (always? or just weekends?) have a sunset talk by a ranger giving you some history there at sunset. It also gives you a potentially vertigo-inducing view down into the valley.

Partway up that road is a small parking lot, for Taft Point and Sentinel Dome. I'd really suggest the hike out to Taft Point, but only if you're not afraid of heights!

Oh, and there's another sunset spot that I actually prefer more than Valley View, but looks at almost the same scene (Bridal Veil Falls and El Capitan). Unfortunately I don't know what it's called, if it has an official name, but there's a parking spot on the right side of the road, right off the river, on the road out of the valley. Many people pass it on the way out, but the view is obvious. it gives you a nice view of those two icons, plus the river.

There was just a huge snow storm which dumped a lot of snow, so you may see some nice water flow on your trip!

Tioga Pass is North of the valley; you probably won't have the time, but if you can spare it, it's a nice road to explore, giving you a view of parts of Yosemite it seems a lot of visitors skip. If you had another day, I'd also suggest taking the road to Mono Lake, but it sounds like your schedule is set.

I'd suggest bringing both wide angle and telephoto lenses, there are plenty of opportunities to use both, and everything in-between. I'd also suggest bringing the tripod, and ND filters if you want to shoot waterfalls. There's several you'll drive very close to, and others you can hike to (1 mile or shorter hikes).

If you need suggestions on places to stay, let me know. I'd imagine most/all of the places inside the valley are booked. There are very few places nearby.
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Old 17th of April 2012 (Tue)   #4
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Default Re: Yosemite

Plan on a VERY long day if you're going to do SFO-Yosemite-SFO in one day!

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Old 19th of April 2012 (Thu)   #5
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Default Re: Yosemite

With limited time, I would not do a lot of hiking. Driving around the valley and seeing/shooting all the iconic spots can take a while. I like the spot mentioned by Cali PH for sunset, but there are other good places. He mentioned Glacier Point, which usually opens by Memorial Day, one of my favorite locations to view the valley from above. From there, it feels like you can reach out and touch Half Dome. Good views of Vernal and Nevada Falls, as well. Glacier Point can be spectacular for either sunrise or sunset, depending on conditions.
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Old 27th of April 2012 (Fri)   #6
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Default Re: Yosemite

Photo Secrets - Yosemite by Andrew Hudson is an invaluable reference for those who have only a short time to see and photograph Yosemite....
http://www.amazon.com/PhotoSecrets-Y...5572343&sr=1-1
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Old 27th of April 2012 (Fri)   #7
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Default Re: Yosemite

I went there once and my 10stop filter hardly leave the lens.
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Old 29th of April 2012 (Sun)   #8
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Default Re: Yosemite

Good question! I'll be going there in June and although I can't garauntee I'll get a chance to take any photos during the best hours I want to hear other suggestions! I may take a peak at that book, thanks RP. Subscribed.
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Old 29th of April 2012 (Sun)   #9
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Default Re: Yosemite

Your probably gonna wish you spent more time in Yosemite and less in San Francisco if your a nature type person. But a short visit is way better than none at all. Have a great trip.
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Old 29th of April 2012 (Sun)   #10
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Default Re: Yosemite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali_PH View Post
Oh, and there's another sunset spot that I actually prefer more than Valley View, but looks at almost the same scene (Bridal Veil Falls and El Capitan). Unfortunately I don't know what it's called, if it has an official name, but there's a parking spot on the right side of the road, right off the river, on the road out of the valley. Many people pass it on the way out, but the view is obvious. it gives you a nice view of those two icons, plus the river.
Are you referring to Tunnel View?
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Old 7th of May 2012 (Mon)   #11
RPCrowe
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Default Re: Yosemite

BTW: Yosemite Valley is quite a ways from the main gate of the park and even further from the acomodations in the town.
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Old 7th of May 2012 (Mon)   #12
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Default Re: Yosemite

Quote:
Originally Posted by bps View Post
Plan on a VERY long day if you're going to do SFO-Yosemite-SFO in one day!

Bryan
Yep. I did this once and was able to see the Valley and Glacier Point.

Headed back in a few weeks and will get to spend a couple days there so glad Tioga Road is open!
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Old 11th of May 2012 (Fri)   #13
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Default Re: Yosemite

Try to fit in a short drive to the Muir Woods National Forest just North of San Francisco. Well worth the trip. Also, now is the most propitious time to tell the wife-to-be that you'd really like that 5D MK III, and a couple of L lenses to record the precious memories of your honeymoon. This window of opportunity slams shut once the vows are spoken, and it's a wise man that takes advantage of it now.
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