Tioga Pass in Yosemite Opens Thursday, June 29

Yosemite's Tioga Pass Road opens June 29

Milky Way from Tioga Pass Road 10:32 pm June 21, 2017.

Yosemite News Release
June 27, 2017 4:00 pm
For Immediate Release

Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park Open to All Vehicular Traffic Thursday, June 29, 2017

Tioga Road will open for Bicycle and Pedestrian Use on Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park (Highway 120 through the park) will open for the season to all vehicular traffic beginning at 8:00 am on Thursday, June 29, 2017. There will be limited visitor services available from the Tioga Pass Entrance Station to Crane Flat. Tioga Road will open for bicycle and pedestrian users at 8:00 am Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

All visitors on the road are encouraged to use caution as there may be dirt, debris, and water flowing over sections of the road. Visitors are encouraged to keep an eye out for maintenance vehicles working on the roadway.

Tioga Pass is Open! by Jeff Sullivan

Tioga Pass June 2017

There will be minimal services available along the Tioga Road for several weeks. There will be no drinking water. Visitors should use the vault and portable toilets located along the roadway to help protect water quality in the Tuolumne River watershed. Food service and lodging are not available along the Tioga Road. There is no mobile phone service at this time and 911 emergency calls will not be operational. There are no gasoline services available along Tioga Road. Visitors can purchase gasoline in Lee Vining and at Crane Flat.

For maps and visitor information, visit the Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center, open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, the Big Oak Flat Information Station, the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, and the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center in Lee Vining.

Tamarack Flat Campground is the only campground that is currently open along Tioga Road. This campground is first-come, first served and fills early in the day.

Evening Reflection on Tioga Pass, June 2017Anyone planning to hike or backpack near Tuolumne Meadows and in all high elevation areas of Yosemite should be prepared for winter hiking and camping conditions. Trails are still impacted by snow and ice. River crossings are high and swift moving. There are several high water areas currently impacting the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the John Muir Trail (JMT) in Yosemite National Park. Trail conditions may vary at any time.

When driving in the park, motorists are urged to drive slowly as bears and other animals are active and may be present on the roadway.

For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200 and press 1.

https://activesole.blogspot.com/2017/06/tioga-road-in-yosemite-national-park-to.html

Snow Melting on Tioga Pass

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Sun Rays on Yosemite Valley

Landscape photography workshop in Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Valley sunrise, Monday, May 8, 2018

 We had amazing conditions for the photography workshop in Yosemite last week. This was the first morning’s sunrise, with sun rays shining down on morning fog.  It rained the day before, but he skies were forecast to clear up overnight, so I figured that it would cool down enough to have the water vapor condense as a ground fog.

Heads UpWhen we arrive the next morning, it was just thick enough to reach the tree tops, creating some nice photographic opportunities.

There had been several dozen people at this viewpoint minutes before the sun rays appeared, but once the sun cleared the mountains, nearly everyone decided to go get breakfast. Someone in our group asked about that, but I said “Let’s give it another five minutes.” Sure enough, when the sun closed the gap in the clouds and started shining down between them, light rays started moving around the Valley.

The dynamic range of the scene was too great for one exposure, so the sun ray image above was created from five bracketed exposures, adjusted in Lightroom 5.7 and combined in Photomatix 6 (beta 2) HDR software.

For comparison, I produced a quick field edit of an adjacent sequence using Photomatix 5.  I like the image produced with the newer software better, but the old one still became my most popular posts on Twitter!

It was also one of my most popular posts on Instagram, and posted to my Facebook Page it has received over 22,000 views so far.  I don’t spend much time on social media any more since most sites are moving to more of a “pay to play” model that price small businesses out, but it’s fun to see those rare occasions when an image breaks through the algorithms and actually gets seen.

Flickr:         www.flickr.com/photos/jeffreysullivan/
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Facebook: www.facebook.com/JeffSullivanPhotography,  FB Page
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Conditions Look Great for Yosemite May 7-12!

I've updated a blog post from May 2014 to summarize the amazing photography opportunities available during our workshop in Yosemite next week:
http://www.jeffsullivanphotography.com/blog/2014/05/14/yosemites-lunar-rainbow-moonbows-weak-this-year/

#yosemite #nationalpark #landscapephotography #photographyworkshops
#waterfallwednesday Curator: +Eric Leslie

 

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Where to Shoot Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall

Horsetail Fall February 14
Wind Cyclone Up Horsetail FallHorsetail Fall in Yosemite Valley is backlit by the setting sun for roughly two weeks each year. As the sun falls behind the vertical face of El Capitan, it selectively lights this waterfall with its orange sunset glow.

This is an amazing spectacle to witness. Lasting only about 15 minutes before the sun goes down, the lighting gradually grows in intensity and color for the last 5 minutes or so. It is often like seeing a narrow strip of lava flowing down the face of El Capitan.  Con’t rule out other times of the day though.  The back-lighting can be great on the waterfall in late afternoon as well.

Different Take on Horsetail FallThe weather and the water flows often don’t cooperate.  You need enough snow above El Capitan, high enough temperatures up there for some of that snow to melt, and you need clear skies where the sun sets on the western horizon.  I was shut out by back to back blizzards in 2007, so I was fortunate to see this on two consecutive evenings from two different angles in 2008, and several times since then.

Sometimes there is little water flowing down the rock, but from a position to the south, the selective light on the wet spot makes it look like the waterfall is there anyway!

Other times, if there’s clearly too much cloud cover or valley mist to allow light through, heading somewhere else for a more traditional landscape shot may be the ticket for that evening.  You have to first anticipate where the best light will be, before you can be in the right place to react to the light as it develops.

Horsetail Fall February 15, 2017 In 2017 I experienced a new variation: there was little direct light on the waterfall at sunrise, but there was intense sunset color on the horizon a few minutes later, and while the main flow of water didn’t pick that up with any particular intensity, the surrounding wet spots on the rock reflected it beautifully.

Unfortunately most photographers seemed to have been waiting only for the direct light of the sun, so there was a pulse of traffic as they drove away, probably not seeing the sunset light that developed after the official sunset time.  Folks, that’s how sunsets usually work!  The best color is minutes AFTER the theoretical (zero degree horizon) sunset time. So stick around for at least 10 minutes “after sunset”, or even 15 or 20, just to be sure that you don’t miss that night’s color, whatever it may be.

Natural Firefall (266,301 views on Flickr so far!)1) Along the bank of the Merced River near the turnout just East of the Cathedral Beach picnic area (which is closed for Winter). This location is described on page 24 of my 320-page guidebook “Photographing California Vol. 2 – South”.

This angle provides the composition that compresses the complete length of Horsetail Fall against the rock of El Capitan.  You can zoom in for a composition with no sky, or use a wider focal length to include the profile of El Capitan.  This seems to be the most crowded location in recent years, as photographers pack together to shoot through an opening in the trees.

This is arguably a more complete view of Horsetail Fall, showing a longer stretch of its descent, making it look longer and skinnier.  The view of more of the vertical drop makes the water flow look skinnier, and seeing it all from a longer distance makes it look more abstract and lava-like.

Horsetail Falls at Sunset2) In the vicinity of the Cathedral picnic area on Northside Road in the valley, 1/2 mile East of the El Capitan bridge. That North road is closed for maintenance, so it’s a 1 mile walk each way from where the El Captan bridge road hits Southside Road. This location is also described in “Photographing California Vol. 2 – South”.

This is more of a side view than the position on the south side of the Merced River, with the upper reaches of the waterfall against the sky.  By showing less of the vertical drop, the flow of the water looks wider, and you see more of the rock face relief in detail.

The more northern location is probably the more common and iconic shot you see, although I don’t mean to imply that’s better.  It’s just another nice variation on a rare and amazing solar alignment event.

Winter WonderlandThe conditions required to make Horsetail Fall are unpredictable, so it’s important not to rule out all trips that look iffy.  You’re probably more likely to miss it than catch it, but it’s important to remember that Yosemite is beautiful this time of year, and generally more so if there are passing storms!  So missing Horsetail Fall may be the best possible outcome for your trip.  You may catch far better photos, of far more unique conditions.

Plan on some dates, prepare yourself for the trip (carry chains), enjoy a winter trip to Yosemite, and consider Horsetail Fall to be possible icing on the cake!  And expect to enjoy return trips to Yosemite in the winter if you don’t get the Horsetail Fall photo that you want on the first one.  Seriously, even when I lived in Sacramento, only 3 hours away, it was nearly impossible to predict when conditions would be great.

Life isn’t a destination, it’s the journey that occurs as you pursue your goals.  Enjoy and make the most out of every moment.

If you want a little help maximizing your odds of success and anticipating the light to be in the right place while you are in the park, I update my annual list of Yosemite photography workshops here.

#Yosemite #landscapephotography #workshops
http://www.jeffsullivanphotography.com/blog/yosemite-national-park-photography-workshops/

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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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Adam Ondra's Historic Free Climb of El Capitan

I was wondering who would be climbing El Capitan at night, but when you have a record to break, every minute is precious. I learned after my workshop last week that we had captured Adam Ondra on his record-breaking free climb of El Capitan on the night of November 15.

+Outside Magazine has the full story:
How Adam Ondra Pulled Off the Dawn Wall
http://www.outsideonline.com/2138561/how-adam-ondra-pulled-dawn-wall

#AdamOndra #climbing #Yosemite #ElCapitan #news #nightphotography #photographyworkshop #landscapephotography

 

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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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End of the Season

Yosemite's Tioga Pass Road closed yesterday, but it will be in my dreams all winter long. If you have my guidebook "Photographing California Vol. 2 -South", you may recognize this location from page 42.

http://www.jeffsullivanphotography.com/blog/photographing-california-travel-guidebook/
#yosemite #nationalpark #nightphotography #photoworkshops

 

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Yosemite National Park to Close Tioga and Glacier Point Roads

Yosemite’s Half Dome from Tioga Pass Road
If you have any plans to head over Yosemite’s Tioga Pass Road this year, you’d better get that in before 3 pm tomorrow!
 
Yosemite News Release – October 28, 2016 12:00 pm – For Immediate Release
Yosemite National Park to Close Tioga and Glacier Point Roads Incoming Storm Expected to Drop a Significant Amount of Snow in the Park’s Higher Elevations
With several major storms expected in the Yosemite Area this weekend, Yosemite National Park is closing Tioga Road at 3:00 pm and Glacier Point Road at 5:00 pm, on Saturday October 29, 2016 This Closure will be in place until further notice.
 
Tioga Road typically closes each fall and remains closed throughout the winter months. The road reopens when weather and road conditions permit in the spring. Yosemite National Park is open year-round with snow removal on all other roads within the park.
All roads within the park are subject to chain control or temporary closures due to hazardous driving conditions. All motorists are required to carry tire chains, even if their car is equipped with four-wheel drive, while driving in the park during the winter months.
For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200

-NPS-
———————————————————————————————————

Tioga Pass, summer 2016

I’m looking forward to my Yosemite Full Moon & Fall Colors workshop coming up November 12 – 16, and working on my schedule for next year, when you can join me to photograph the unique sights available away from the crowds of Yosemite Valley!

November 2012… join me here for a workshop November 2016!

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Sunset in Yosemite's Tuolumne Meadows

Originally shared by +Jeff Sullivan Photography

A short hike and a long lens yielded this stunning view in the High Sierra Saturday night. I hadn't visited this vantage point in a while, but it seemed like it might pay off for this sunset.

www.JeffSullivanPhotography.com
#yosemite #nationalpark #landscapephotography #highsierra

 

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