Led by David & Chris Wilkins
Ahhhhhhhh… what a fun trip!!!
The fun started a week before, when all who signed up for the trip were invited to a potluck chili dinner at the home of Sue & Paul. David passed out a list of photo sites with the locations to be at sunrise and sunset, and shared photo tips. Sue shared a list of gear to take, which included all the usual camera stuff, plus thermals, hand warmers, snow boots, Yak Trax (shoe stabilizers for walking on ice), snow chains, and radios. We watched landscape photographer Steve Kossack’s DVD Yosemite in the Winter.
Upon entering the Valley, almost everyone stopped at Tunnel View to capture the wide expanse of the breathtakingly beautiful Yosemite Valley. The valley floor was still covered in snow, and the rocks in the river still had their little snow covered caps on.
All eleven of us stayed at the Yosemite Lodge (for $70 a night) and met for breakfast/dinner at the lodge cafeteria.
The food was good, and prices reasonable. One night we “kicked it up a notch” and had dinner at the lounge and enjoyed the ambiance of the glowing fire and beautiful photographs hanging on the walls.
Another evening, the group went to a ranger led program/show on The Artists of Yosemite. It was an interesting history lesson on the early photographers, painters, and writers.
One of our photo sites was the Ahwahnee Hotel. The place is beautiful, both inside and out. After photographing inside the hotel, of course we had to have lunch there! The dining room is said to be one of the most beautiful in the world with stunning views out all the big picture windows. Ask Douglas Wade about his group panorama shot with an iPhone.
Our best photo ops were at Valley View for sunset, Swinging Bridge for an awesome view of Yosemite Falls, Cathedral Beach and Sentinel Bridge with Half Dome reflecting in the Merced River. On the first evening the group was at Valley View waiting for sunset and the magical light. There were clouds in the sky and no light on the cliffs. Setting up shots of the river and snow-capped rocks filled the time as we waited for something to happen with the light. Then it arrived. For about a minute a golden ray of light broke through the clouds and shown on the face of El Capitan and then it was gone. That moment was what we had been waiting for, and we had our cameras ready.
Everyone came back with loads of photos, and great memories.
Thank you to David and Chris for arranging such a fun trip!!!