Image Quest Tours
|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, as we connect our creativity with the
grandeur of the natural world.
The Twist: This long weekend of photography has one inviolable rule: participants may bring any kind of camera they want, except for DSLRs. Why? For several years, Ken and Dave have conducted workshops where the most popular type of camera participants have brought has been the digital single lens reflex. Ken and Dave want to see what can be done with what are essentially alternative, if not downright contrarian types of cameras (and they will bring some of their own). These might be cameras from the early years of the 20th century, or the latest digital wonders.
To that end, after our workshop concludes, we will have a chance to post our photographs online, sharing them with each other.
Credit for coming up with the idea of a DSLR-free zone, though, goes to our third trip leader, Chuck Nadeau, who has long been interested in the potential of cell phone photography.
Here is what is fair to bring:
- Film cameras – SLR, box, folding, pinhole, Instamatic, half-frame and medium format – are fine. (Note: medium and large format cameras which require film backs are OK; however the set-up and take down time at our variety of locations may preclude spending much time, if any finding, composing, and making creative photographs.)
- Digital cameras are welcome, too, including digicams (point-and-shoots), and cell phone cameras.
If you're looking for new challenges, if you want to develop your creative eye, if you've got an old camera gathering dust that should be in the field, or a new one you'd like to become more familiar with, if you want to join with like-minded photographers who are willing to undertake a journey that can encompass and lead to something larger than yourself, then join our long weekend, exploring and viewing one of the world's most beautiful places with your camera.
Cost: $410. Reservations are on a first come, first served
Arrival Date: Thursday, November 17, at Cedar Lodge, in El Portal, California, just west of Yosemite National Park.
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.
|- Ken Rockwell is known internationally for his website, kenrockwell.com. He is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about photography and cameras. He can answer any question about any point-and-shoot digicam, film cameras, and the latest digital cameras. He is particularly well versed in the use of Nikon, Canon and Leica equipment. His loyal readers - who number in the many thousands each day - enjoy his often iconoclastic and sometimes controversial essays, as well as his detailed reviews of camera gear. A Southern California resident much of his life, Ken has explored California and the Southwest with his, including explorations of Death Valley, New Mexico, and stretches of historic Route 66. Visit Ken at kenrockwell.com.|
|Chuck Nadeau is an accomplished young photographer based in Chico, California, at the western base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. His varied interests in range from sports and commercial photography, to portraits and nature. He has long had an interest in alternate forms of photography, including cell phone photography. His work has appeared both online and in print, from Water Skier Magazine to Sports Ilustrated, from corporate campaigns in the recording industry and the food industry, to non-profit groups. Chuck has twice assisted Ken and Dave conducting photography tours in Northern California, helping to create the itinerary, and serving as a guide for portions of both trips in California's Gold Rush country. He will serve in the same capacities on our Yosemite outing.|
|- Dave Wyman - his photographs of Bodie have appeared Outdoor Photographer, Cross-Country Skier, the California State Parks Guidebook and his book, Backroads of Northern California. He is the author and photographer of two other pictorial guidebooks (Backroads of Southern California and Yosemite in Photographs). Dave has conducted photography tours since 1982, for the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Sierra Club, the University of Southern California, the Yosemite Association, and the Los Angeles Zoo. His unbridled passion for travel and photography have led him and the groups he conducts to locations throughout California, the Southwest, Oregon, and Yellowstone. When he's not with a photo groups, Dave takes his camera up mountain summits, down to rugged coastlines, and along remote roads in the western U.S, both by car and on a bicycle.|
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:
- Guided photography walks
- Equipment demonstrations and lectures
- Evening presentations
- Help where car pooling where possible
- A meal for the group
- Help with accommodations
- Onine sharing/critique after the trip
Camera Equipment:As per above, digital or film cameras are all welcome, with the contrarian exception of DSLRs. Feel free to bring one camera, or many. Remember, though, that the more equipment you have to sort through, the less time you'll have for actually making photographs. That said, the instructors will probably bring along a variety of cameras and accessories.
Two filters for aficionados: the polarizer, and a graduated neutral density filter (for help in choosing the latter, as there are several varieties, contact Dave). Just for fans of film, the 81A or 81B warming filter, which will keep an overly blue cast out of photographs made in the shade or under cloudy skies.
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.
View from Glaicer Point
Tripods? Ken is well known for his opposition to tripods. Of course, he owns them, he uses them when necessary, and he will have one on the trip. So will Dave and Chuck. There will indeed be times when tripods could be an asset, such as early in the morning or late in the day. However, it will certainly be possible to make creative photographs anytime, with or without a tripod. We will also probably have an extra tripod or two on hand as loaners throughout the course of the trip. So don't feel, if you join us, that you have to purchase a tripod. You might, if you want one, check out renting them local camera stores. If you do want to purchase a 'pod, feel free to check with Dave for advice.
Other options could beckon you: bean bags (Dave uses a hacky-sack with his digicam), mini/table top tripods, monopods, or chainpods.
Film Considerations: Bring any sort of film if you are bringing a film camera. 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 films at ISO 100, for example 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 Ektachromes, the latter designed to give Fujichrome a run for its money. Both Kodak and Fuji have excellent print films.
Black and white fans? There are still many black and white films on
the market. A good place to see where many of them are available is on
the Freestyle photo website
(where Ansel Adams reportedly purchased some of his photographic paper,
and where Dave has shopped for several decades, which is why he knows
Freestyle is a great place to search out alternative photography
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 or flash drive (limit them to about 20) and we'll show them on a digital projector or an external monitor. If you have 35mm or MF slides, scan them onto a CD. You can bring your laptop or tablet to share your photos, too. Feel free to bring photos made on any camera, including DSLRs. Prints are welcome, too.s
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.
Where to stay: Ken, Dave and
Chuck will stay at the comfortable and reasonably-priced Cedar Lodge,
about 25 minutes from the floor of Yosemite Valley, along Highway 140
and the Merced River. You are invited to join us.
|- Day One is arrival day for
our accommodations, near Yosemite. Activity planned: opening
presentation by Ken, group introductions, a chance to look at
particpant's images. After dinner, we'll take in a slide show to learn
about Yosemite and photography.
- On Day 2, we'll depart early for the short drive to Yosemite Valley, photographing the slow-moving waters of the Merced River, Bridalveil waterfall, and the meadows and amazing granite walls that will rise above us. We'll photograph iconic locations, and intimate landscapes. By day's end, we'll photograph last light over Half Dome from one of our favorite locations in the Valley.
- On Day 3, we will photograph historic structures both inside and outside the Valley, including the Ahwahnee Hotel, and then travel north to photograph historic barns, and south to the Victorian-era Wawona Hotel and covered bridge, as well as the sublime Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. We'll conclude the day at Glacier Point, overlooking Half Dome and the Sierra Nevada High Country.
- On Day 4, we will end the workshop officially after breakfast, in the little Gold Rush town of Mariposa; however, participants are invited to remain with the trip leaders, who will make a few stops along the back roads before heading for home by early afternoon.
Yosemite Crib Barn
Meals: We will have one group meal. And we will always be near places to purchase food during the course of the trip at meal times: stores, cafeterias, a deli, restaurants.
Cancellations: $50 cancellation fee. No refund within two weeks of the departure date, unless another person takes your place.
If you have any questions: contact the trip leader, Dave Wyman, at 323 377-7565, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Register: For this workshop, participants can register by sending a check to:
The Image Quest Home Page
Dave's Blog: Photography-Cycling-The Meaning of Life
Follow Dave on Facebook
Follow Dave on Twitter: davewyman