Yosemite in Winter
It had been just a few months short of 30 years since I had been to Yosemite National Park. The last time I was there in the winter was even another 10-15 years earlier. I was able to fix that situation by joining Steve Kossack on one of his excellent photography workshops in February this year. I've talked to Steve many times about Yosemite since I had been there often as a child and as a teenager. I wondered how it would be after so many years. Not much in the park had changed except for a few new buildings, some campgrounds wiped out by floods, and they no longer do the fire fall from Glacier Point. However, I found I had changed a lot. Spending time in the landscape has helped me to become more aware of how important it is to preserve these special places. Hanging out with other landscape photographers has given me other insights as well. Those changes allowed me to appreciate the valley in ways I could not in the past.
Photographically this was a fantastic trip, but even more, it was meeting an old, dear friend and discovering that there is much more to them than I had been able to see in the past. Even having been in the park 20 to 30 times in the past, I saw things I had not seen before and was able to have a deeper appreciation of the ones I was familiar with. I highly recommend you go to Yosemite, or even better join Steve on one of his workshops. If you can't do that, his new video series contains a wealth of information on planning and shooting Yosemite as well as other locations.
I hope you enjoy the photographs and appreciate the beauty and majesty of this wonderful valley.
Valley Reflection Panorama
Water is the lifeblood of Yosemite. It was carved by water - frozen in the form of glaciers, and now water provides for the plants and animals that make their home here. Almost everywhere you look there are waterfalls, large and small. Here's a sampling of some of them.
Half Dome is exactly that. The remaining half of a huge granite dome that was carved by glacial ice. Either it or the other huge granite monolith, El Capitan, can be seen from most spots in the valley.
We spent most of the time during the day walking the floor of Yosemite Valley. There were many opportunities for great images. Almost any place you decided to stop had possibilities. Here a few.
Famous for it's sheer granite wall that provides climbers with a multi-day ascent, El Capitan dominates the western part of Yosemite Valley. The name refers to Chief Tenaya who led the Native Americans living in the valley. The army apparently thought that as long as they named a mountain, a lake, and a stream after him they could kick him and his people out.
Here is a link to an article I wrote for Steve Kossack's web site on shooting the last sunset of the trip.