Image Quest ToursBackroads of California Pictorial Guidebooks

Questions or comments and/or requests for information about specific trips: Phone: 323 377-7565


Autumn Light - Photography in Yosemite

Sponsored by the Yosemite Association

Instructors: Dave Wyman and Ken Rockwell

Wait List Only

Dates: Sunday through Wednesday, October 18-21, 2009

Yosemite National Park: This is a favorite time to explore a unique part of the natural world. People are less obvious, and autumn days can be crisp as winter approaches, or bathed in inexplicable warmth. There are juxtapositions of light, shadow, shape and texture. We will photograph Half Dome and El Capitan, watch for wildlife, look for more intimate landscapes and explore some of the historic structures in the park.

Visit the Yosemite Association site for details about cost and accommodations. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis. Yosemite Association members receive a %15 discount.

Departure Date
: Anytime on Sunday, October 21; accommodations will be ready after 3:00 p.m.

Transportation to Yosemite: Via private auto. Transportation in Yosemite: Via private auto, and on foot (minimal walking).

Trip difficulty: None - the trip will be conducted at a photographer's pace.

Fern Spring

- Dave Wyman has had his photographs and articles appear in Outdoor Photographer, Outside, Backpacker, Sky and Telescope, and many other publications. He has conducted photography and natural history tours in California and the American West since 1982, for the YA, the Los Angeles and San Diego Natural History Museums, the Los Angeles Zoo, the University of Southern California and UCLA. His most recent book is Yosemite in Photographs; he is also the author and photographer of Backroads of Northern California and Backroads of Southern California.

- Ken Rockewell is a talented photographer as well as the creator of his well-known web site, Ken's website is an amazing and constantly evolving compendium of thoughtful and thought provoking essays, photography galleries, Photoshop lessons and detailed test reports of new and vintage camera equipment. Ken is engineer by training, he has an artistic eye, and he enjoys sharing his knowledge and opinions about photography. He has fully embraced digital photography, and is equally adept with 35mm, medium and large format cameras. Listen to a May, 2006 radio interview with Ken here.

Campground space in the Valley is included. The Yosemite Association has set also aside indoor accommodations in the park (contact YA directly for reservations).

Workshop ends: We'll finish officially about noon on Sunday. If you wish, you may return home in a caravan with the instructors, who will make a few photography stops on the way, either along Highway Highway 41 or Highway 120.

Who this trip is for: Anyone who loves the natural world and photography. Instructors will accommodate novice through advanced photographers. Even if you don't bring a camera, you'll be intrigued with the beauty of the natural world as it is revealed in Yosemite.

What to Bring:
Camera gear (see below)
- Clothing for warm and cool temperatures, including a ski cap for cool mornings and evenings
- Day pack and/or camera bag
- Money for meals
- A sense of adventure

What Will be Provided:

- Three nights' campground accommodations in Yosemite (optional indoor accommodations are available)
- Instructors
- Guided photography walks
- Equipment demonstrations and lectures
- Slide shows
View from Glaicer Point

Camera Equipment: Digital or film cameras (35mm and medium format) are all welcome. This is the trip to enjoy a variety of photographic equipment, including wide angle lenses, telephotos, filters, CF or SD cards, three kinds of film and at least two camera formats. However, if the truth be told, a basic digital or 35mm camera with one lens will work just fine during most of this photography workshop. Two filters for aficionados: the polarizer, and the 81A or 81B warming filter (the latter more for film photographers) will allow saturation of colors and keep a blue tone out of photographs made in the shade or under cloudy skies. A tripod will help insure the sharpest images and will be particularly useful at dawn and dusk.

Bring enough CF or SD cards for digital cameras, as well as a battery charger; some cameras require more than one battery to last through a day, some survive on a single battery. Make sure you have enough battery power.

Film Considerations: Bring any sort of film. The less sensitive to light the film (lower ISO numbers, such as 25 to 100 with slide film, 200 to 400 with print film), the better the color saturation and image sharpness.

Higher speed films, such as ISO 200 to 400, allow you to more easily hand hold your camera. But faster films, to a slight degree, do not as accurately record color or hold image sharpness. Fujichrome film - for example, Sensia II (ISO 100) offers excellent color saturation for slide film and is very fine grained. Fuji's Velvia and Provia are more expensive, and also excellent.

Other excellent films include Kodak's Kodachromes and Ektachromes, the latter designed to give Fujichrome a run for its money. Both Kodak and Fuji have excellent print films.

Bring Your Own Photographs: If you like, bring your own photographs for critique, or simply to be enjoyed by the group. Bring them on a CD and we'll show them on a digital projector or a large LCD monitor. (If you have 35mm or MF slides, scan them onto a CD). You can bring your laptop to share your photos, too, either on the laptop's monitor or via our projector of extern LCD monitor.

Weather: we can expect mild to warm days, and cool evenings. Just about anything is possible, from temperatures in the 80s in the Valley during the day and down to the 30s in the evening (but don't bet on either). Be prepared with a selection of clothing. "Bad" weather, often in the form of afternoon thundershowers, is sometimes the best weather for photography, and won't cancel or curtail our photographic field sessions.

Tentative Itinerary: 

Arrive anytime on Sunday - no official activities are planned, campsite space and indoor accommodations will be available in the afternoon. However, join Ken and Dave in the lobby of Yosemite Lodge at 8 p.m. for a brief session to meet everyone. Otherwise, we'll start at 7:00 a.m. the following morning.

Heart of the Valley: On Monday we'll meet at Yosemite Lodge for an early morning session. After breakfast, we will enjoy a slide show, and then explore the remainder of the day in the Valley, photographing the languid Merced River, views of Half Dome and El Capitan, and we'll watch for the rainbow on Bridalveil Falls. After photographing sunset over Half Dome, we will have dinner and enjoy another a slide show.


Foresta Crib Barn
The Human Imprint: On Tuesday, we'll visit the Ansel Adams Gallery, the Ahwahnee Hotel, view the historic barns at Foresta (a few miles outside the Valley), and later travel to Glacier Point (weather permitting), stopping along the way to look for coyotes and tree frogs, and to enjoy the views afforded at Washburn and Glacier Points. We may also have time to visit the historic Wawona Hotel and the unusual suspension bridge over the South Fork of the Merced River. We will return to the Valley for a final slide show. On Wednesday, we will finish the seminar by noon; participants may wish to accompany the instructors along either Highway 140 or Highway 41, stopping where fancy strikes us for a few more photographs.

How to Register: For this workshop, participants will register via the Yosemite Association, which is the sponsoring organization.Phone the Yosemite Association at 209 379-2646 to register over the phone. (Note: registration through Yosemite will not be available until spring, 2008. NOTE: WAIT LIST ONLY

If you have any questions:
contact the trip leader, Dave Wyman, at 323 377-7565, or send e-mail to

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Questions or comments and/or requests for information about specific trips: Phone: 323 377-7565