Icons of Yosemite Photo Classes

Yosemite Valley Icons Photo Session

People have been photographing Yosemite since 1859, when Charles Weed took the first salt print photo of Yosemite Fall. Since then, artists like Carlton Watkins, Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, to name a few, have been photographing the Yosemite Valley and High Sierra, all the while traveling to many meadows, peaks, river banks and vistas. On this tour, we will visit some of those vistas that established these artists as the great landscape photographers of their time, and which helped transform the American environmental movement.

This tour is appropriate for those shooting either black and white, or color photography, and will focus on a select number of locations from which these icons photographed Yosemite Valley. The tour will begin in the afternoon at the Church Bowl parking lot and picnic area — where Adams shot two famous images– and will conclude at Inspiration Point on the Wawona Road which can offer epic sunset opportunities. This tour will consist of discussions concerning depth of field, hyperfocal distance, exposure techniques, metering, the zone system, white balance, and composition. A generous portion of the discussion — in conjunction with the aforementioned topics — will be devoted to talking about the artists, their philosophies, histories and their eye for photography.

Programs are crafted by an expert photographer who will lead each session. Tours last from four hours.

 

Icons of the High Sierra Photo Class

After the Winter snows have given way to the warm days of Summer, the Yosemite High Sierra affords a romantic grandeur to those who would partake. Granite domes and jagged peaks soar above the solemn observer, meadows bear numerous wildflowers while serving as centers for wildlife activity, and lakes of varying breadth deliberate on light of equally varying magnitude. Like the Valley, the High Sierra has lured many a photographer, captivating them, and inspiring a greater enlightenment. On this tour, we will visit a select number of locations that will encapsulate the greater High Sierra. We will begin at Olmsted Point, a favorite site of many photographers from Edward Weston and Ansel Adams to contemporary professionals. From there, we will travel to Tenaya Lake to explore its granite shores, erratic boulders, stunted trees and majestic reflections. Afterwards, the tour will continue on to Tuolumne Meadows, where several different stops will yield views of the meadows, Mt. Dana, the Cathedral Range, the Tuolumne River, Lembert Dome, as well as many more landmarks. If conditions permit, evening alpenglow will blanket the Sierra crest and provide us with a vibrant, luminous scene even after the sun has dropped below the horizon. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to, depth of field, hyperfocal distance, exposure techniques, metering, the zone system, white balance and composition.

Programs are crafted by an expert photographer who will lead each session. Tours last from four hours.

Minimum Requirements for all Tours

Any camera which offers manual control over the shutter speed and aperture. Digital cameras preferred because they offer instant feedback. An SLR with a pair of lenses (i.e. wide angle zoom and a long telephoto) would be ideal. We frequently encounter wildlife in these areas so a long lens is handy to have on hand. A tripod is strongly recommended. Bring food, water, sunscreen, rain gear, and sturdy walking shoes. Feel free to ask any questions about the content or requirements.

*All Photo Tours require a certain amount of hiking. Most are very easy camera walks to optimize time spent in the field. Longer hikes with rewarding vistas are also available. Every YExplore Yosemite Tour includes a vehicle reservation permit into Yosemite National Park during any reservation period.

Explore Our Photography Guides

Skip to content