My Dad came to visit me from England in October. I wanted to show him the best parts of northern California but only had 10 days to do it. Of course, Yosemite was No. 1 on the list, so we set off Thursday morning and enjoyed an easy 4-hour drive from Berkeley.
My dad is a semi-professional photographer and wanted to make the most out of our three-day stay. He hired a photography guide, Christine Loberg, to show us the best spots for photography in Yosemite, some well-known and others hidden. Christine is a fantastic guide; her knowledge of the park and its history is unbeatable, such as where the light will be and what effect this will have on the rock colors. She also lives in the park and has the most incredible view from her backyard.
This is the best place to go for a view of Half Dome. In fall, at sunset the rocks change from yellow to a burning orange to pink to blue to black. Get there early to set up your tripod as it can get busy and selfie sticks can get in your way.
Washburn Point (AKA Christine’s backyard)
This spot was empty when we went. It seems less popular and I don’t know why. There are sometimes large puddles that collect at this time of the year, and they offer a pretty cool reflection photo opportunity if you play with the angles.
As there were less people here, we had more time to set up and adjust different settings.
A spot that is only improved with fall colors.
We got here at about 3 p.m.
The falls all running in October in fall was unheard of, but we had been lucky with the rain. You need a filter with this picture though as the light of the water and reflecting off the rock is hard to balance otherwise.
Mirror Lake Hike (for fall colors)
Does what it says on the tin. The water is so smooth, it was a great rest stop on the two-hour hike as well.
Grizzly Peak drive
We got lost trying to find Tunnel View at sunset, we took the right-hand turn at the El Portal sign on Northside Drive and ended up driving on the cliff-hugging roads through the park. We were running out of light, so we decided to pitch up on a log and have a cup of tea and some chocolate. The lighting really brought out the fall colors of the trees and the opposing mountains cast some compelling shadows across the landscape.
It’s no surprise that Yosemite is a mecca for the over-worked and stressed city types to escape and get their wilderness fix. It was a fantastic place for me and my dad to go to spend some time together and also unwind.
Contact India Clare at [email protected].