Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Travel: Yosemite National Park In Autumn - Day 1

Half Dome From Glacier Point - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 100, f10, 1/250, 10/19 at 4:59 PM
I visited Yosemite National Park for this first time just over one week ago. This was a two-day trip, with one night spent in the quaint town of Mariposa. This was both a miniature family vacation and a photography excursion.

We live about four hours south of Yosemite Valley. With three young children, this means a four hour drive is now five or six hours. It's also about the maximum time that the kids can handle being in the car in one stretch.

Because we had some obligations on the first day of the trip, we were not able to hit the road until late morning. This meant that we'd arrive at the park in the evening, not far from sundown.
Half Dome Panorama - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 180, f9, 1/500, 10/19 at 5:01 PM
The first planned stop within Yosemite was Glacier Point, and we made it to the top at about 4:45 PM. Amazing! The overlook was my first view of the park (aside from the road in), and it is indeed a sight to behold! This truly is one of the greatest vistas that I've had the pleasure of seeing.

I wanted to pack light and keep things simple, so I only brought with me one camera (not including my cell phone) and one lens: a Nikon D3300 DSLR with a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens attached to the front. I also brought along a circular polarizer filter and a cheap lightweight tripod that folds very small, but didn't use either at this stop.

We spent about 45 minutes at Glacier Point, trying to take everything in. I captured a number of images, hoping to create something unique. I'm not sure I accomplished that, but I did get a few photographs that I'm happy with.
Half Dome & Tree - Yosemite National Park
ISO 160, f14, 1/125, 10/19 at 5:16 PM
I was hoping to make it to Tunnel View by sundown, but we were a few minutes too late. There was still some dusk light, so we stopped to see the vista. I grabbed my tripod and captured an image.

On our way out we made a quick stop near El Capitan to see the lights of rock climbers spending the night on the granite. Then we headed to Mariposa, which is about an hour from Yosemite Valley, to eat dinner and check into our hotel.

Mariposa is a nice little mountain town that proved to be a good place to rest. The hotel was close to the historic downtown area. We had dinner at a pizza joint. While the pizza was cooking, I walked around the downtown shops with my camera, capturing a couple more photographs.

Arches From Glacier Point - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 200, f14, 1/125, 10/19 at 5:18 PM
Half Dome & Pine Tree - Yosemite, California
ISO 220, f14, 1/125, 10/19 at 5:27 PM
Two Photographers At Glacier Point - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 1400, f10, 1/125, 10/19 at 5:30 PM
Evening At Tunnel View - Yosemite National Park, California
ISO 100, f5.6, 1 second (tripod used), 10/19 at 6:33 PM
Gold Coin - Mariposa, California
ISO 3200, f2.8, 1/80, 10/19 at 8:44 PM
Creepy Man - Mariposa, California
ISO 3200, f3.2, 1/100, 10/19 at 8:48 PM


  1. Amazing photographs Ritchie! To be expected from such a magnificent place! (Did Amanda tell you that Yosemite is my FAVORITE place on Earth?! ;) of course, I haven't seen the entire Earth and everything in it, but Yosemite has set a pretty high bar for any other place to me) I'm glad you got to see Yosemite in the fall....it's an awesome park.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Sarah! Amanda did mention that it is your favorite place, and I can see why. Yosemite is truly amazing! I cannot wait to return. Which photographs do you like best?

    2. I like the arches, and half dome with pine tree. Evening at tunnel view is also very nice, but as you know I'm more inclined to the b&w photos. But you can't really go wrong with any pics of Yosemite... truly. Amanda and I were comparing funny stories and legends we knew from visiting Yosemite as kids... fun stuff!

    3. I think those are my favorites, also, as well as Two Photographers and the panorama.