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Workshop Dates: Thursday, Feb. 19 - Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015
Winter time in Yosemite is peaceful serenity at its best: the least number of tourists in the Valley while a blanket of white snow covers the valley, dotting the trees and providing great contrast to the stark granite walls.
This workshop will focus on the numerous locations in the Yosemite Valley that are complemented by the snow season as well as timed for one of the few rare scenes in Yosemite that happens only once a year for about 10 days in only the perfect conditions: the backlit illumination of Horsetail Fall by the setting sun, called 'The Firefall' as immortalized by the original 1973 Galen Rowell photo. All three sunset opportunities of the workshop will devoted to capturing this elusive visual phenomenon.
This workshop focuses not only on the 'where' to take the pictures, but also on the 'how' to take pictures, incorporating photographic education throughout the workshop at each location. By building on the previous location's techniques and lessons, this allows for culmination in a comprehensive lesson in pre-visualization, composition, modified exposure and light controls.
This truly is a collaboration of extensive, comprehensive landscape photography education coupled with a dynamic location.
Course Level of Instruction: Beginner
Requires understanding of camera operations & functions, standard photography principles of exposure & composition
Day 1 - Following a lunch orientation session at the meeting location reviewing the workshop schedule, safety, photographic concerns and techniques, we will depart to our first location along the Merced River for a quick lesson in pre-visualization with a touch of visual thinking. From our first location, we depart for Night One in the attempt of capturing the elusive 'Firefall' phenomenon at Horsetail Fall. Following dinner, we go to the Curry Village Lounge for group editing and review of the day's images.
Day 2 - Following an early breakfast, we head to the first of many of Ansel Adams' iconic photo locations with the early-morning light as it streams down into the valley. We then move to the foot of Bridalveil Fall for some winter waterfall, river and ice-form scenes. After lunch, we spend some time at the Ansel Adams gallery and Yosemite Village, along with shooting at one of Ansel's famous meadow locations before departing for Night Two of capturing the sunlit glow of Horsetail Fall. We will then return to our meeting location for group editing and review of the day's images.
Day 3 - Following an early breakfast, we will head to Happy Isles to begin a full morning trek down the Merced River, capturing river scenes and foliage against the valley's granite walls. We will conclude the trek near LeConte Memorial, where we will board the shuttle bus to Yosemite Lodge for lunch, followed by time spent in the El Capitan Meadow, directly below the monolith and opposite the striking Cathedral Spires & Rocks. We then depart for the final opportunity to capture the elusive shot of the ephemeral Horsetail Fall. We will then return to our meeting location for group editing and review of the day's images.
Day 4 - Following an early breakfast, we will depart to the east end of the valley up to Mirror Meadow, spending the entire morning along a pre-determined schedule timed for optimum light along this stretch of Tenaya Creek and Mirror Meadow. After, we head to Yosemite Lodge for our workshop conclusion/farewell lunch, allowing return to Fresno International Airport for late afternoon/early evening departures.
The above itinerary is the standard itinerary, however is very fluid and can change daily — even hourly — as changing weather conditions can lead to inaccessible locations and dictate changing to a better location.
The workshop pricing includes training and resources, but it does not include food or lodging. Please read the Venue Information section below.
We will be carpooling from the airport to the park, and also carpooling or using the free park shuttle to get around the valley to our shooting locations each day. The recommended airport of arrival & departure should be Fresno-Yosemite International Airport (FAT).
Member prices are only applicable to Nikonians Silver, Gold and Platinum Members. Non-members can register as Nikonians members here. Nikonians Basic members can upgrade the membership level here. Membership payments help sustain the growth of the Nikonians community and its services such as the Nikonians Academy.