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Author Topic: Pacific Coast in November 08  (Read 31668 times)
Graham Welland
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« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2008, 02:12:37 AM »
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Regarding the road..... Last time I went to Bodie was late in the afternoon.  Twelve miles up a mostly gravel road, passing no sign of humanity.  When I got there, there was only one car in the parking lot.  I parked on the side of the dirt road rather than proceeding a couple hundred yards further to the lot because it was closer to where I was going to start shooting.  I meandered around the town and shot till the light was gone, never seeing another person.  By the time I got back to my car, I was the only vehicle there and found I'd gotten a PARKING TICKET!!!!!!!!

I was cursing up one side and down the other, while laughing at the same time.  Easily one of the most out of the way places I've ever been......  and I get a ticket.
Brad
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I've been to Bodie many times and I'm not surprised AT ALL by the ticket. Bodie is a State Park and you pass an entry hut on the way in with a park ranger on site. It's normally pretty empty (depending upon time of year & day) but even so the only way they can control the place and keep it in 'arrested decay' is to have a single parking area from which you have you walk around. My guess is that you wandered off into the graveyard area etc. I'm sure that if they'd been able to, you'd have been towed!

A couple of things not to do in November ... don't drive through Bodie and follow the road out to the North/East - well, not unless you've got a satellite phone for when you get stuck. (It's an interesting route if you want to find some other Nevada vs CA ghost towns - I found that having a Land Rover helped enormously!   ) I'd also think twice about taking the southerly route out towards Mono lake vs normal route in from the main road.

Don't be surprised if the Tioga pass is closed. If it is, then you're just as likely to be stuck on either the west side or east side of the range for a long, long way.

There are a few 'Friends of Bodie' who run photo workshops that can get you in to the area at more photogenic times of the day. Ditto for access to the interiors too, although a few have public access such as the church.

Another thing to consider is that Bodie is at over 8000ft so weather conditions can change pretty quickly and for the worst at that time of year.

With respect to the Pacific Coast trip: Definitely worth meandering up route 1 although it'll be angry weather in November - not necessarily a bad thing as you'll either get nothing or great pictures. I'd also second the recommendations for the Redwood Forests up in the Humboldt area. The Avenue of the Giants route off from 101 is worth the trip whatever the weather and it's also worth taking the time to visit some of the groves off from the main drive.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2008, 02:22:01 AM by gwelland » Logged

Graham
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« Reply #41 on: September 03, 2008, 08:37:20 AM »
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I've been to Bodie many times and I'm not surprised AT ALL by the ticket. Bodie is a State Park and you pass an entry hut on the way in with a park ranger on site. It's normally pretty empty (depending upon time of year & day) but even so the only way they can control the place and keep it in 'arrested decay' is to have a single parking area from which you have you walk around. My guess is that you wandered off into the graveyard area etc. I'm sure that if they'd been able to, you'd have been towed!

A couple of things not to do in November ... don't drive through Bodie and follow the road out to the North/East - well, not unless you've got a satellite phone for when you get stuck. (It's an interesting route if you want to find some other Nevada vs CA ghost towns - I found that having a Land Rover helped enormously!   ) I'd also think twice about taking the southerly route out towards Mono lake vs normal route in from the main road.

Don't be surprised if the Tioga pass is closed. If it is, then you're just as likely to be stuck on either the west side or east side of the range for a long, long way.

There are a few 'Friends of Bodie' who run photo workshops that can get you in to the area at more photogenic times of the day. Ditto for access to the interiors too, although a few have public access such as the church.

Another thing to consider is that Bodie is at over 8000ft so weather conditions can change pretty quickly and for the worst at that time of year.

With respect to the Pacific Coast trip: Definitely worth meandering up route 1 although it'll be angry weather in November - not necessarily a bad thing as you'll either get nothing or great pictures. I'd also second the recommendations for the Redwood Forests up in the Humboldt area. The Avenue of the Giants route off from 101 is worth the trip whatever the weather and it's also worth taking the time to visit some of the groves off from the main drive.
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Thanks for the insight. I expect to find some places snowed in and or non-passiable. I hope my future bride will still be talking to me after several miles of washboard road. We are still very excited about going.

I really think you are right about getting really great pictures or nothing because of every changing weather conditions. I've got hundreds of images out west of mountains with dead blue sky... I've even been asked to take my polorizer off on some trips and have to explain that that is all there is unless you there in a storm.

Some of the more striking photos I've made or seen are right before or after a storm. With my old bones I hope the storms give great images and clear out fast too.

I'm still very torn on taking the 4x5 field camera and my digital or my medium format stuff. I have not worked with a 4x5 much outside in 17 years. This one is new to me and the 645 Mamiyas is a second nature thing. More lenses, 50,80 & 150, give some options I do not have with the field camera.

Have you shot out in yosemite with a field camera or have them been smaller like medium format and or 35mm? film or digital?

Lee
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360NikonD300
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« Reply #42 on: September 06, 2008, 12:18:49 PM »
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We just got back from that trip! Humboldt County is a winner and worth extensive exploration. Don't miss Stout Grove and the Wildcat drive along the Lost Coast (out of Ferndale). Sweet little magical beach out side of Ferndale: Just keep driving past the Wildcat entrance to the the Ferndale beach, but don't stop there, but keep going to the next parking area. Walk down the trail to a rea magical deserted spot of beach.
Enjoy!

PS Don't buy gas in Mendocino. It was about $5.50 a gallon! No where near that anywhere else.
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dwdallam
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« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2008, 11:29:45 PM »
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We just got back from that trip! Humboldt County is a winner and worth extensive exploration. Don't miss Stout Grove and the Wildcat drive along the Lost Coast (out of Ferndale). Sweet little magical beach out side of Ferndale: Just keep driving past the Wildcat entrance to the the Ferndale beach, but don't stop there, but keep going to the next parking area. Walk down the trail to a rea magical deserted spot of beach.
Enjoy!

PS Don't buy gas in Mendocino. It was about $5.50 a gallon! No where near that anywhere else.
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Gas has been almost 5 bucks a gallon in Humboldt all summer. Just recently it has dropped to around 4.30 for regular. Glad you enjoyed your trip here. I was in Ferndale about six months ago, but I took the Centerville road. It was a nice drive. I live about 20 minutes from Ferndale, but I've yet to explore the area well. There are so many little places like the one you describe it's almost infinite discovery of new areas around here.

I'm looking at Google maps right now, but I can't find where you were. I see Wildcat road, but it's miles and miles past Fendale till you get to the ocean. Can you clarify where you were? The Wildcat road turns into Mattole Rd.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 11:40:44 PM by dwdallam » Logged

dwdallam
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« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2008, 11:57:12 PM »
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Glass Beach near Ft. Bragg is a curiously sad place where trash was dumped for years and now glass has been worn into small polished stones by waves.  Interesting photos…

Dave Chew
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I was just at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. It's easy to miss because there are two locations. One is to the right where most everyone goes, and the best spot is the left trail. You'll need to climb down some not too easy shallow cliffs to the glass, and yeah, it's there for sure. The other location has been picked clean pretty much.

I went there late in the day at higher tide, and was not impressed, with hardly any glass. So I took off and asked some locals what was up. They said the right side is where all the tourists go and pick up and carry off all the glass. They told me to jog hard left along the fence, and then drop down into the beach from the short cliffs.

The only problem is that when I got there the low tide was after sunset, so I couldn't and didn't try to shoot anything. So there you go--make sure the low tide is light enough to shoot images.

What about the quality of the area? Well, I really didn't much care for Fort Bragg, but it's not bad. They have an interesting marina. If you go to Fort Bragg, then stop at the town of Mendocino. It's only a few miles past FB, and it is worth seeing and eating there.  Fort Bragg does have some really nice coffee shops and I'm sure if I spent more time there, it would get better photographically.

As for Glass Beach, after I went back to the local spot, I was about 2 hours away from high tide, but I did hike down and got a good look. Where I was, which is much higher than you would be at low tide, there was glass about 1-2inches thick on top of the sand. Most of it is white, then green, and specs of red, I assume from wine bottles. If you planned it right and reviewed what you had before you took your camera, one could get some interesting shots in that area. It's not an easy or pleasant place to shoot however. The climb could be dangerous if you aren't very careful. You won't die from a fall, but you could easily break a leg or arm on the way down. Once down, you are in a sort of cauldron and that is where you have to set up your equipment. Then you are working right on the ocean. Then you get to climb out with your pack. Anyway---
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The View
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« Reply #45 on: September 15, 2008, 01:09:21 AM »
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King Range proposed wilderness, south of Petrolia. Roadless Pacific Coast.
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dwdallam
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« Reply #46 on: September 15, 2008, 05:47:05 AM »
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Gas has been almost 5 bucks a gallon in Humboldt all summer. Just recently it has dropped to around 4.30 for regular. Glad you enjoyed your trip here. I was in Ferndale about six months ago, but I took the Centerville road. It was a nice drive. I live about 20 minutes from Ferndale, but I've yet to explore the area well. There are so many little places like the one you describe it's almost infinite discovery of new areas around here.

I'm looking at Google maps right now, but I can't find where you were. I see Wildcat road, but it's miles and miles past Fendale till you get to the ocean. Can you clarify where you were? The Wildcat road turns into Mattole Rd.
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I took a drive down there a few days ago. It's an interesting place. Thanks for the heads up.
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CatOne
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« Reply #47 on: September 28, 2008, 08:51:06 PM »
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You do realize that November will be quite cold for Northern CA, right? I mean it's not horrible, but November "starts" our rainy season, which means you could get rain for two weeks straight--no joke. September is our driest and warmest month. So far we have had maybe 3 days of warm sunshine. The rest of the time, from January until now have been of three types: Overcast, Wind, Cold, or a combination thereof. It's been a long winter for us this season. If you want to spend a night in Humboldt, the Lost Whale Inn is WONDERFUL. It overlooks the ocean and has a deck all around it. It's individually owned and has about 7 rooms in an old Victorian style house. It's amazing, comfy, homie, warm, so, so nice.

www.lostwhaleinn.com
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Maybe in Humbolt county November starts the rainy season in Northern California.  But I'd say with Northern California in general, the odds are way better than 50/50 that you'll have a nice, sunny week.  Really the bulk of the rain comes in January/February/March in areas more than 100 miles south of Oregon, and away from the coast.

Those up in Humbolt and Eureka have plenty of good weed to keep them mellow over the long, grey, rainy winter  
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daleeman
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« Reply #48 on: October 08, 2008, 06:20:10 PM »
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Time is getting close. About 3.5 weeks until this November trip takes us to Yosemite, Bodie, Humboldt and others. Can't wait.
Finally came upon the mix of equipment to take.
Hassy
150mm
80mm
3 backs
Nikon D300
18-200 lens.

Thing is I am still such a film nut I can hardly wait to shoot B&W out there.

Lee
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Farkled
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« Reply #49 on: October 08, 2008, 06:52:30 PM »
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It would appear that we may cross paths.  Rather on the spur of the moment, we've decided to drive from "LA" up the coast highway  (SRT 1).  No schedule.  We have 10 days to get to wherever we feel like getting to.  Current plan is to drive up to Oregon border and then back down.  Will be taking laptop to offload CF cards.  Only have a 40D, but still, I like to take auto bracketed panos.  Many GB.
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dwdallam
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« Reply #50 on: October 09, 2008, 12:25:00 AM »
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Quote from: CatOne
Maybe in Humbolt county November starts the rainy season in Northern California.  But I'd say with Northern California in general, the odds are way better than 50/50 that you'll have a nice, sunny week.  Really the bulk of the rain comes in January/February/March in areas more than 100 miles south of Oregon, and away from the coast.

Those up in Humbolt and Eureka have plenty of good weed to keep them mellow over the long, grey, rainy winter  


Do you live here? If you're in Humboldt County in November, expect rain and lots of it. On average we get about 5.7 inches in November, which is just under our wettest month in December, which is about 6.3 inches. As far as sun goes, if you get around 10 miles away from the coast, sun is a good chance. On the coast, it's usually overcast all year long, with sunny days being accompanied by 20 mph wind, and still sunny days very infrequent.
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daleeman
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« Reply #51 on: October 14, 2008, 11:12:14 AM »
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Quote from: Farkled
It would appear that we may cross paths.  Rather on the spur of the moment, we've decided to drive from "LA" up the coast highway  (SRT 1).  No schedule.  We have 10 days to get to wherever we feel like getting to.  Current plan is to drive up to Oregon border and then back down.  Will be taking laptop to offload CF cards.  Only have a 40D, but still, I like to take auto bracketed panos.  Many GB.
Would like to cross paths while up in the area. Going to Humbold and also looking to go to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. If you message me directly I can give you my cell and such. I hope to meet up with Doug too, and he knows the area.

Does any one have images of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park? I hear it has a wonderful bedding of ferns, nicere than Humboldt.

Lee
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daleeman
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« Reply #52 on: October 14, 2008, 11:14:11 AM »
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Quote from: dwdallam
Do you live here? If you're in Humboldt County in November, expect rain and lots of it. On average we get about 5.7 inches in November, which is just under our wettest month in December, which is about 6.3 inches. As far as sun goes, if you get around 10 miles away from the coast, sun is a good chance. On the coast, it's usually overcast all year long, with sunny days being accompanied by 20 mph wind, and still sunny days very infrequent.
Doug,
Just purchased a new rainproof jacket this weekend for the trip. So how do I rainproof my Hassy?

I do hope to see some good views, even with rain. Some of the best photos I've ever taken were before or just after a rain storm.

Lee
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #53 on: October 14, 2008, 01:35:52 PM »
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For ferns, you can't beat Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek.  It's a deep, narrow little canyon with a small stream running along the bottom and tons of ferns on the vertical canyon walls.  It's a dirt road to get there, but most normal cars can handle it.  During summer season, they have primitive plank bridges across the stream, but those aren't there this time of year, so if you want to go walking up the canyon you'll need boots that can handle a couple of inches of water (or just bring a towel and do the crossings barefoot).

Prairie Creek Park may have better ferns, but Humboldt has bigger and better redwoods.  Do both if you can.  (Jed Smith Park farther north has big redwoods too, at Stout Grove.)

Lisa
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dwdallam
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« Reply #54 on: October 15, 2008, 03:42:05 AM »
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Quote from: daleeman
Doug,
Just purchased a new rainproof jacket this weekend for the trip. So how do I rainproof my Hassy?

I do hope to see some good views, even with rain. Some of the best photos I've ever taken were before or just after a rain storm.

Lee

You could actually photograph in the rain here because a lot of the time it isn't pouring, but drizzling. Usually though when it's raining it's blowing about 20+MPH too. It's just nasty as far as weather goes. And I'm again talking about along the coast. I haven't spent much time inland since I moved here in 2004. Also, the rain here isn't like in most areas where you get a "rain storm" and then the sky clears or it just stops raining. It usually rains for 2-10 days straight when it does rain. Then it will rain off and on lightly and taper off like that. It's a beautiful place to photograph, but it's a really hard place to photograph well. The only time I've gotten decent shots is when I go back to the same area every single day for like 40 days. The weather is just so sporadic that any thing else and your tossing dice.

Look online for a rain sleeve for your Hassy. If you can't find one, I use large turkey basting bags by Reynolds. I just cut a hole for the lens and rubber band off the open end around the tripod. I use the basting bags because they are virtually indestructible and completely water proof.

Give me a email when you know exactly when you'll be in the area and we can hit a few spots.

I've only been to Prairie Creek State park once or twice, but I liked it. When you come, just keep your eyes on the side of the road for "state parks" signs. Don't be afraid to just turn out and drive up one. Get out and hike. Keep in mind, and this in no way should scare you, that this area is isolated wilderness wise. There are a lot of large cats in the woods and bears too. About every two years or so you hear about someone getting attacked by a cat--mountain lion. I've never heard of anyone getting attacked by a bear. The bears here are of the black bear type and rather shy. They just run away from you. That being said, I always hike with a large fold out knife on my side, around 4-6" blade, but not for bears. That's for cat defense. I've also heard of people carrying pepper spray, which I think is also a good idea. It's like shark attacks though, so don't get paranoid about it. It's just that people don't understand the specifics of statistics. It's true that your chances of getting attacked by a shark, or mountain lion, are less than getting struck by lightning. However, if you put yourself in shark infested waters, your specific chances of getting attacked just went up a 1000% (or whatever) from the all around average.

I never let that sort of thing bother me. Last two nights I was hiking at about 12PM in full moonlight and a clear sky--alone--and far from any people or well traveled roads. So like I said, no worries. Just better prepared than not.

You may want to do a search for "Trinity Alps" also. That's about 150 miles inland and it is a fantastic place to photograph. I've never been though.

« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 03:47:00 AM by dwdallam » Logged

Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #55 on: October 15, 2008, 12:23:47 PM »
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You may want to do a search for "Trinity Alps" also. That's about 150 miles inland and it is a fantastic place to photograph. I've never been though.

I looked into visiting the Trinity Alps once, but found that the "good parts" are too far from regular roads for a day hike, but would require multi-day hikes with camping.  (That's normal roads I'm talking about - I don't know anything about the possible availability of four-wheel-drive-only primitive dirt roads.)

My spouse flies a small plane, and we've flown over the Trinity Alps a couple of times.  It looks much like some of the higher parts of the Eastern Sierras.  Great from a small plane, if you have access to one or want to look for flightseeing in the area.

Lisa
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dwdallam
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« Reply #56 on: October 16, 2008, 12:54:42 AM »
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Quote from: nniko
I looked into visiting the Trinity Alps once, but found that the "good parts" are too far from regular roads for a day hike, but would require multi-day hikes with camping.  (That's normal roads I'm talking about - I don't know anything about the possible availability of four-wheel-drive-only primitive dirt roads.)

My spouse flies a small plane, and we've flown over the Trinity Alps a couple of times.  It looks much like some of the higher parts of the Eastern Sierras.  Great from a small plane, if you have access to one or want to look for flightseeing in the area.

Lisa

I think if you have a 4WD you can get within a one to two hour hike to some nice spots. I can check with a friend of mine who has been many times. But you are right, and that's why I haven't gone yet. Another friend of mine goes annually, but he and his friend hike in and out over a 5 day period. Next year he is bringing his goats to pack the equipment, so I may go with them. I don't think I could carry all of my equipment plus camping gear.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 12:56:59 AM by dwdallam » Logged

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« Reply #57 on: October 18, 2008, 10:18:53 PM »
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Quote from: daleeman
Time is getting close. About 3.5 weeks until this November trip takes us to Yosemite, Bodie, Humboldt and others. Can't wait.
Finally came upon the mix of equipment to take.
Hassy
150mm
80mm
3 backs
Nikon D300
18-200 lens.

Thing is I am still such a film nut I can hardly wait to shoot B&W out there.

Lee

You will find that you need a wide angle lens for Yosemite. I use my 50mm on my Hasselblad quite a bit in Yosemite. If you have one, I recommend you take it with you.
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daleeman
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« Reply #58 on: October 19, 2008, 08:14:34 AM »
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Quote from: spotmeter
You will find that you need a wide angle lens for Yosemite. I use my 50mm on my Hasselblad quite a bit in Yosemite. If you have one, I recommend you take it with you.
Do not have a 50mm lens. I have a more complete Mamiya 645 system, but love the optics of the Hassy. I've been keeping my eyes open for one I can afford but have not found one yet. What do you think of the older chrome one? Both of my 80 and 150 are CF lenses.

Do you have a website with images you have shot there. I'm always looking for what I might get to see. I hope to do a few posting here after I return. I've been digging through others suggestions for state parks across northern Calf and hope to see some good ones there. Any experience in other places in Calf too?

Any other ghost towns besides Bodie in the north of California?

Lee
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« Reply #59 on: October 19, 2008, 10:44:19 AM »
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Do you have a website with images you have shot there. I'm always looking for what I might get to see. I hope to do a few posting here after I return. I've been digging through others suggestions for state parks across northern Calf and hope to see some good ones there. Any experience in other places in Calf too?

Any other ghost towns besides Bodie in the north of California?

Lee
[/quote]

I don't have a website, but you can find a number of good photos of Yosemite by googling 'yosemite photos'. Also, search 'yosemite photo books' on amazon.com

You will also want a shift lens because the granite faces are so close and so high that if you are always pointing the camera up, you will be disappointed with the results.

Another necessity is a graduated neutral density filter to balance the skies. I recommend a two and three stop.

Because the Valley is so narrow and the sun is low in the Fall, scenes tend to be very contrasty. If you are shooting scenics in color, Velvia will get blocked in the highlights or shadows, so I recommend Astia. It also scans very well. I also use a warming filter, otherwise the shadows are blue.  This is especially true with Provia, which is blue sensitive.
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