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Yosemite Valley In Winter

Half Dome / Mirror Lake / El Capitan / The Merced River
Vernal Falls / Tunnel View… And More

A 3-Day Landscape Photography Workshop.
A Valentines Day — Presidents Day Weekend Getaway
February 14 - 17, 2003

Conducted by Steve Kossack

(This is NOT a Luminous Landscape Workshop)



About the Workshop

F-8 And Be There Workshops and Tours presents a mini-workshop in the spectacular and beautiful wonderland that is Yosemite in winter. From Friday February 14, thru Monday February 17, 2003 we will be photographing and exploring some of the most beautiful country on earth! This is a unique opportunity to explore Yosemite at a leisurely pace. We will be chasing color and light in a three thousand foot deep, seven mile long canyon of granite. One of the most photographed places in the world will be ours under a full moon.

Southwest photographer and guide Steve Kossack will lead this workshop. It’s size and design will lend itself the flexibility to travel and photograph the available light and color of this exciting area during our 3-day shoot.

Merced River & Bridal Veil Falls — Yosemite National Park. © 1998 Steve Kossack

Where is Yosemite Valley?

Found in the heart of the Sierra Nevada. This magical valley is centered in Yosemite National Park, one of the nation's largest. The San Francisco bay area on the west and Reno on the east surround it. To the north is the capitol city of California, Sacramento.

Valley View

With it’s breathtaking view of El Capitan and Bridalveil Falls, this magical photographic location is a sure bet to be on our sunrise/sunset list.

The Merced River

The Merced River is the life and flow of Yosemite Valley. Its course forms the center of the Valley after its descent over Nevada and Vernal Falls. We are certain to spend many hours strolling its banks and framing its beauty in our viewfinders.

Curry Village

This will be our home. We will have canvas tents! Yes, in winter! They are heated. Staying in its oldest and most famous accommodations heightens the essence of being in the Valley. If you have ever wanted to have the “Yosemite Canvas Tent Experience” here is your chance. It’s a tradition!

Half Dome

The Yosemite signature landmark dominates most Valley views. Standing at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome rises to an elevation of 8,842 ft. Seeing Half Dome with a blanket of snow is a sight not to be missed. And you won’t!

Who Is This Trip For?

  • It’s for Singles and couples and most importantly, Yosemite lovers!
  • It’s a photography workshop. It’s a leisurely stroll. It’s a weekend getaway.
  • It’s a traditional workshop.
  • It’s for you if:
    • You like working in the field from sunrise to sunset.
    • You want to learn about landscape location and light
    • You want to learn about equipment and strategies used in landscape photography
    • You like traveling with like-minded people, and making images and new friends.

This Workshop

This workshop is small by design. It will allow for ALL levels of photographic experience. There will be no lectures or product endorsements. Personal instruction will be available at all times. The opportunity to photograph and share with the group will always be present. Print discussions can be a part of each day, depending on time available.

Winter from Tunnel View — © 1998 Steve Kossack

Weather, Equipment, Etc.

No one can predict weather in the Sierra. It might be mild in the daylight hours with cold mornings and chilly nights. We might find snowstorms! The region is a land of changing weather. You can do this trip with any format or type of gear. A tripod is of course a must.

The Schedule

You will need 4 days. 2 of them are weekend days.

Friday February 14:

Arrive Oakland California by midday. Transportation to all locations, including the return to Oakland on Monday is provided. A sunset shoot if travel times permit.

Saturday February 15 — Through Sunday February 16

We are staying in the Canvas tents in Curry Village all three nights of our adventure. All walks and sunrise/sunsets shoots will be at your option. This workshop will be paced to take in the winter splendor. We will be taking advantage of any and all weather situations open to us. We will be driving to most sunrise and sunset locations. We will certainly photograph Half Dome from Sentinel Bridge at sunset. Sunrises from both Tunnel View and Valley View will most likely be the highlight of the trip. We will be strolling the meadows during the daylight hours looking for light and color. The trail system in the valley is very good and mostly level. Some of our strolls will be a few yards and some a few miles.

We are hoping to go up the mist trail at least as far as the bridge to photograph Vernal Falls. Our group size will make it possible to do many things, in all directions. From seeing the piano that Ansel Adams played in the Ahwahnee hotel to Yosemite Village for an ice cream, Yosemite Valley is a great place to just walk. We’ll do a lot of it.

Monday February 17:

Presidents’ day will find us with a sunrise shoot (dependant on departure times) and our return trip to Oakland.

Please Remember

Mid February in Yosemite is unpredictable. We may be subject to road closures but they are infrequent. The valley usually sees only a few inches of snow at a time and it quickly clears making for wonderful images. We will be traveling in 4-wheel drive SUV’s and do not expect weather conditions to be of concern. However, anything is possible in winter. Bring warm clothes, smiles, lots of film or bytes and food money. The days will most likely begin well before sunrise and end well after sunset.

Mt. Watkins from Mirror Lake — © Steve Kossack

The Cost

The cost of this trip is U.S. $995. This includes all transportation to and from all shooting locations as well as pick up and drop off at Oakland. You are responsible for your own travel arrangements to and from Oakland. Your Curry Village Canvas tent accommodations are included (2 persons to a tent). (If you would prefer accommodation in a heated cabin these are available for a small additional fee).

Although we will most likely eat our meals together, sometimes a break is nice. Therefore, you will be responsible for the cost of your own meals.

Bring film and /or bytes & food money and we'll take care of the rest.

A deposit of $500 will be required when you register. The remaining balance ($495) will be due no later than January 5, 2003; 40 days before the trip. If you need to cancel before January 5, a full refund (less $50) will be available. After January 5, 2003 a full refund (less $100) will be made, but only if a replacement for you can be found in time. If we have to cancel the trip for any reason you will receive a full refund.

With only 6 places available this workshop is bound to sell out quickly.

To register or to find out more, please e-mail Steve Kossack at, or telephone Steve at 1-928-634-8071.

Steve Kossack is an experienced photographic guide to the American Southwest. His tours and workshops, operated under the name F-8 And Be There, allow visitors to this region to discover and explore some of the best photographic locations in the region in the company of a knowledgeable and experienced guide and instructor.

You can view some of Steve's photography here and read more about his tours and workshops here.

Steve has been co-instructor on several Luminous Landscape workshops and has been highly regarded by participants. Several have subsequently hired him for private tours of the region.

This workshop is not operated by the Luminous Landscape nor associated with it in any way. But I can recommend Steve to you as a fine instructor and guide.


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Concepts: Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Valley, Sierra Nevada, Merced River, Mariposa County, California, Glacier Point, El Capitan, Half Dome

Entities: Oakland, Yosemite Village, Oakland, Curry Village, Sacramento, the cost, Yosemite National Park, Sentinel Bridge, Ahwahnee hotel, Yosemite Valley, Sierra Nevada, Vernal Falls, the life and flow, Michael Reichmann, Steve Kossack, Steve, Ansel Adams, Southwest, California

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