Well its been over a month since Fran & I arrived back from our trip out west, so I thought I would post a few more images from Yosemite, but more importantly share what we learned and what we would change for next time.
One of the problems of photography and travelling knows what to take and what to leave behind, especially if you are planning on hiking. Before we flew out the USA, I thought that the following kit would provide a good balance of what I would need.
One camera body
Pentax DA* 70mm-200 zoom
Sigma 18mm-35 Art Lens
A Metz Flash
Befree Travel Tripod
Spare batteries for the camera
A Circular Polarizer
A Fader ND
Lens Pen etc.
All of this kit would could be packed into the Lowepro rucksack, which would be ideal for hiking and leave space for water and food.
What I can say is, if you are shooting APS-C like we were, you will really need a 12mm-24mm lens in Yosemite. I really thought the Sigma would be fine, but it was just not wide enough. Yes, I could stich images together, but the point I want to make is, this is where full frame or much wider lenses would have been really valuable.
For hiking the kit I carried was OK, but if you are intending to walk up out of the valley, you will really notice the weight and it does become an issue. Since arriving home I have now decided to switch to a mirror less system to help reduce the weight and size of the kit I use and Sony provides me with more of what I need and want in terms of FF and APC-S , so I get the quality at a reduced weight and size.
With hindsight staying in the park, would have been a better option although the accommodation is not cheap. However, for the convenience of not having to drive for an hour to get to and from the park every day, together with the fuel, if I were to visit again, I would pay the extra and stay inside the park. Another benefit of lodging in the park is you can look out of the window and see the weather conditions and decide if it’s going to be great or not OK day for photography.
We spent a week in Yosemite and the surrounding area and I still felt I did not have enough time. Yosemite is a superb place to be even if you don’t get the image you dreamed of. The most compelling images I have seen of Yosemite rely on the right weather conditions and this is often the combination of planning and luck. I did all the planning I could, but was not so lucky with the snow and mist that I wanted, but we made the most of what we had.
There is so much to see, photograph and do in Yosemite and depending on how much time you have, together with the time of year you intend to visit, you will have to make some compromises.
Anyway, below are a few locations that I thought were great photographically.
Yosemite Lodge River Bend
Washburn & Glacier Points
There are numerous books and guides about Yosemite that can provide you with a wealth of information, but if you have an IPAD and want to take the information with you, I found the following apps very useful.
The Yosemite Photo Guide
Route 3D Yosemite