Yosemite Fall Colors - Nov 4-7 2011

Field Trips

Fall Color… ummm?

Winter Wonderland… Oh Yeah!!!

A fall color photography trip for LPA members was led by Sue Craft and Bill Sutton, to coincide with what is typically peak time for color in Yosemite Valley (end of October through beginning of November).

Instead of great fall color, we were surprised with a very early snowstorm!  Two of them actually!  We arrived Friday, greeted by the sparkly white remains of an overnight snowfall.  The view from Tunnel View was incredible!  Snow was everywhere, from the tall granite peaks, down to the valley floor.  What we came to see was buried underneath.

Our first meet up was on Friday for sunset at Tunnel View.  The colors ranged from a warm orange on El Capitan to a cold blue on our fingertips!

Saturday we photographed Cooks Meadow and reflections on the Merced River near El Capitan.  A group of rock climbers looked like flies on a wall, unless you had one of those big long 500mm lenses, and then you could see the climbers and the two tents they had suspended on the face of the enormous rock wall.  That does not compare to a warm bed in cozy lodge! 

Another photo stop was Fern Springs. The wet glistening leaves on the ground and on the rocks around the spring were just begging to have their picture taken.   People watching was interesting… there were some that came to wash their hands and face in the water, followed by the guy that came to fill his water jug, claiming… “this is the best water in the world!”.

Another fabulous spot for photographing was at the streams below Bridalveil Falls.  Usually this time of year, only one of the three streams still has water in it, but all three were flowing.  The group was very “focused” in more ways than one in creating those blurry water shots, with rocks, wood and brightly colored leaves.

Saturday night… another snowstorm!

Sunday morning we woke to 2-3 inches of fresh snow on the valley floor.  It was just enough to make the valley absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous, but not enough to require chains.  Which way to go?  What to photograph?  Where to be?  Oh my!!!  I needed a clone!!!  The light and clouds, and fog and blue sky breakthroughs changed rapidly!  Pretty much… anywhere you were, you had wonderful photo opportunities.

By evening we were all too exhausted to go out and hunt for another sunset op and instead met for a long happy hour, to share photo stories and tips.  It was a great trip!!!

View our members' photos in the gallery.

By Sue & Paul Craft 
Photos by Paul Craft

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