Eastern Sierra Fall Colors Peaking Now in Mono County

Eastern Sierra landscape photography

Mono County fall colors are peaking now!

If you’ve been waiting to head to the Eastern Sierra for fall colors, wait no longer!  These photos were all taken yesterday afternoon.  The spectacular color could last through the weekend, but maybe not: the forecast warns that Thursday could bring stormy weather that might knock a few leaves down before the weekend.

West Walker River in October

West Walker River October 15

Topaz Lake Cottonwood Trees

Topaz Lake October 15

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Grand Grape Celebration Wine Tastings in Yosemite

I signed up for a wine tasting in Yosemite right after my Fall Colors workshop November 12-16, featuring +Silver Oak Cellars, +Twomey Cellars , Martinelli Vineyards, and Tablas Creek Vineyard

The wines were outstanding, and both Silver oak and Tablas Creek poured verticals going back to 2001 so you could see how they can develop over time. This was overall schedule:

Session #4 ~ November 16 – 18
2016 Moderator ~ Dan Berger, Wine Journalist & Judge

Wednesday, November 16
1:00 PM “Tasting Nuances Between Site Specific Single Vineyard Wines”
Martinelli Vineyards & Winery Regina Martinelli

3:30 PM “Esprit de Beaucastel: The Evolution of a Flagship Rhone Blend”
Tablas Creek Jason Haas
6:00 PM Meet the Vintners Reception

Thursday, November 17
1:00 PM “A Deconstructed Tasting of 2016 Sauvignon Blanc”
Twomey Cellars David Duncan

3:30 PM “A Brief History of (Silver Oak) Time through Selected Wines”
Silver Oak Cellars Daniel Baron

6:30 PM Gala Vintners’ Dinner

I received a promo email touting $149/person attendance to the 2016 series of wine events:
<a href="http://z.aramarkparks.com/arzh40/wmws/ARZH/1476994621194_220/w551346.php?custcode=ARZH&bid=98006925737007&pbid_=98006925737007" rel="nofollow">z.aramarkparks.com/arzh40/wmws/ARZH/1476994621194_220/w55...</a>

Given that you'll pay about $75 for a dinner in the Ahwahnee anyway, it's not a bad price for four tastings, reception, and a four course dinner at the Ahwahnee paired with wines!

Here's the full schedule:
<a href="http://www.travelyosemite.com/media/487082/grand_grape_schedule_of_events_82516_2.pdf" rel="nofollow">www.travelyosemite.com/media/487082/grand_grape_schedule_...</a>

There will be far fewer of these events in 2017, since the kitchen in the Ahwahnee is due for a remodel.

I looked up this photo from November 14, 2005 to see how the conditions might be in Yosemite Valley during my workshop, and around the time of the event..

#wine #traveltuesday #travel #winetasting #yosemite #fallcolors


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Yosemite Fall Colors at Night

Merced River Fall Swirls

Earth and fall leaves rotation

Fall can be a great time to visit Yosemite National Park.  You have all of Yosemite’s usual iconic granite monoliths for subjects, ample opportunities for reflections in the Merced River, and if the timing lines up, you can time your trip to coincide with opportunities to place the moon in your compositions.

Solar Rainbow in Yosemite Valley

Image licensed for use by National Geographic

Merced River Fall Reflection

Merced River Reflection

As I describe in my guidebook “Photographing California Vol. 2 – South“, various species of trees typically turn color in different weeks, so the season can be broad, and you don’t have to hit the timing perfectly.  But like fall colors elsewhere, depending upon what compositions you want and what species are growing where you’re shooting, there will be a peak time that might last a few days.  So it is very helpful to have knowledge of what’s blooming that week, and what scenic views that week’s colorful trees grow in.

Yosemite Fall Colors

Dogwood trees in fall

Half Dome, Full MoonIn 2017 we’ll have multiple added bonuses: moon rise compositions and night photography of the colorful landscape under ample moonlight.  I’ve been anticipating moon rise compositions since 2006, so I’m getting pretty good at setting them up.  I have one in mind that would be best to hike to, another that we can easily walk to the shooting position for.

This time of year the sun sets by 6 pm, so night photography can also occur at a very civilized hour.  Like many photogenic events in national parks these days, fall colors season in Yosemite gets promoted on social media, and it is starting to get a little crowded.  Most of the visitors are tourists, and virtually none of them are out practicing night photography.  So night photography is a great way to revisit the best vistas and capture them in a new light.  Literally!

Star and Leaf Trails in Yosemite
Long night exposures also can be extended to produce star trails images, and we often pick up “leaf trails” as well.

For more samples of the types of images we can pursue, take a look at my Yosemite Fall Colors album on Flickr.  Since Yosemite is spectacular in addition to the fall colors, you might want to browse my Yosemite National Park album as well.

The fall colors workshop runs Nov 1 – 5. 2017 if you’d like to join us:
Nov 1 – 5 – Yosemite Fall Colors & Full Moon Photography – 4 days, $995

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Eastern Sierra Fall Colors

I’ll be presenting on Eastern Sierra Fall Colors this Saturday, October 8, 1 pm in the Mono Basin Visitor Center auditorium in Lee Vining. Drop by after lunch for some inspiration before you head back out!

I’ll have copies of my guidebook Photographing California Vol. 2 – South on hand for signing, or if you already have one, bring it by and I’ll sign it!

If you’d like to let me know that you might be coming, you can RSVP at the event page on Facebook:

If you can’t make it to the event, the +Mono Lake Committee bookstore in Lee Vining has had the book in stock recently, and Whoa Nellie Deli as well.

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California Fall Colors

Originally shared by +Jeff Sullivan Photography

After enjoying the Eastern Sierra for decades, pursuing fall colors here for over ten years and living here for six, my main fall colors workshop dates this year are:
October 3 – 7 Eastern Sierra Fall Colors and Milky Way
October 10 – 14 Eastern Sierra Fall Colors and Moonlit Landscapes

November 12 – 16 Yosemite Fall Colors and Full Moon

I read today that "In Wisconsin, the fall-color tourists spend over $1 billion". I can show you the best of California for a whole lot less! If there's demand I may add an Eastern Sierra workshop later in October, but there's added risk of a cold mid-October storm destroying the turned leaves and burning the remaining ones to brown and black.

#fallcolors #landscapephotography #photographyworkshops


In Album Fall Colors Eastern Sierra

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Aspen With Snow (horizontal)

I uploaded to +500px a high resolution horizontal composition of the snowy aspen scene that I shared here to G+ a few days ago.

#landscapephotography #monocounty #visitcalifornia #fallcolors

Snowy Fall Aspen
Snow-laden late fall aspen in the Eastern Sierra Monday last week.

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Last Gasp of Fall

Although most of the aspen had lost most of their leaves when I passed through the Eastern Sierra last week, this stand down near Bishop still provided a nice streak of yellow.

#EasternSierra #fallcolors #landscapephotography #california


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Aspen With Snow

Snow-laden late fall aspen in the Eastern Sierra after a snowfall in early November.

#EasternSierra #fallcolors #MonoCounty #california


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Protect the Land and Water Conservation Fun (LWCF)

Sign this to tell your members of Congress preserve the LCWF, which otherwise expires today: http://link.grist.org/view/525c7954c16bcfa46f77806932ipj.3ht8/0f885dc1

I passed and shot this location in Grand Teton National Park several times last week, but this shot from roughly noon last Thursday turned out best. Clearly it's not just a sunrise or sunset spot!

#landscapephotography #grandteton #nationalpark #fallcolors #wyoming


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Fall in the Eastern Sierra

In early April, we're already halfway back to fall!

#fallcolors #easternsierra #mountainmonday #monocounty
+Eastern Sierra Nevada Workshops


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