This past October, my husband and I ventured off for a much needed break from our insanely busy, but really fun, summers of guiding work in the Canadian Rockies. We chose California, as it has been an area both of us have always wanted to explore for both adventure and photography purposes. We had just over 3 weeks to explore as much of the eastern Sierras as we could. So we decided to head south, and then west to base from an area called Bishop, California. From there, we explored the many great options for rock climbing and photography, in and around the Bishop area. We caught two windows for opportunities to visit the incredibly popular Yosemite National Park. I have to state for the record that I am a HUGE fan of Ansel Adams! To get to go where he traveled with a vision that not only kicked black and white landscape/nature photography into the next stratosphere, it also paved the way for many followers to seek out the same places he shot his iconic images. Talk about a following, hey? The stuff of legends... I wanted to see for myself what he spent so much of his photography career capturing. It was more than a dream, it was a vision quest. I wanted to explore it for myself with a camera in hand, eager to put my own spin on this beautiful landscape. It was everything I dreamed it to be and more! Between getting to be there the first time in rainy cold conditions that produced the most surreal, almost dreamy like appearance to the forests and streams. To our second visit with much better weather to capture the essence and grandeur that comes from one of the most astounding, geological features in North America.
The granite domes of Yosemite NP, have attracted a number of adventurous folks ranging from all star rock climbers to many known, and hope to be known someday, photographers. It felt like such a treat to wander the spaces between the valley floors and the tops of these precarious domes to capture a taste of what this valley has to offer a keen photographer. My one major complaint would come with the fact that I am not the only person who wants to walk among the giants and take in the endless display of natural beauty. The valley is quite crazy with tourists and can feel overwhelming at times with how busy it gets (even on a rainy, cold day!). I advise a strong dose of patience mixed with a low expectation to get in and stay for any length of time in the park, on a whim. If you want to do it right, make reservations and plan to be there for at least 3-4 days. That way you can take your time and enjoy it!
Other than Yosemite NP, we also had the pleasure of visiting Tuolomne Meadows. Tuolomne is similar in some ways to Yosemite, but without that congested feeling you get when surrounded by the abundance of tourists. To properly experience Tuolomne, you have to leave the parking lots behind and venture into the wilderness a little to appreciate it's peaceful nature. I would definitely recommend adding some days to spend in this area. I know I will plan to spend more time here if we return someday.
Other than the national parks, we were also rewarded with so many other beautiful places to visit near Bishop. We were there in the fall and were informed that they were having one of the warmest and most calm falls they have had in several years. The colors were just peaking when we arrived and reached full bloom before we left. My favorite place for photographing the creeks and fall colors was an area called Rock Creek. It is located near Bishop and offers some really nice camping. I would definitely recommend it!
Well, that's enough chatter from me. Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts, I hope you enjoy the photos!
Until our next adventure, cheers!