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Back in Yosemite Valley

For years the family has been coming to Yosemite, even before we were living in Mammoth. Nowadays it’s a simple drive up to Lee Vining, over the pass and down into the valley. Back in the Santa Barbara days it took a whole lot longer going through the central valley. However, in the winter, from Mammoth, it’s still a haul. The pass is closed which means we either go north or south around the Sierra’s to get here. We went south this time, and stopped along the way to see our long time friends that live just a little ways outside the park. It was good to see them again. Yesterday we finished the drive and spent the afternoon and evening here in the valley floor. Last night the rest of the crew got in and the fun really started.

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Instead of the usual crew consisting of Dad, Mom, Kevin, Laurie, Joe and Drew, we have the privileged and entertainment of RC Concepcion and Jeff Leimbach filling in for Joe, Drew and Laurie. Both are not only great photographers but just a ton of fun, so we know this will be a good week. Today was the easy day, the scouting day as it normally is; however, with all the time that the family has spent here it wasn’t necessary to scout out the locations. Mom and Dad were literally trying to count the numbers of times the four of us have traveled to Yosemite, i think they are up to when i was 5 years old and lost count.

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This morning we were at El Capitan Meadow playing with the oak grove and the fog that rolled in and out. This grove have been seen for years as a classic black and white postcard so that was part of my thinking when i was out. I didn’t quite capture that image i had in my mind but walking along i did get some images and some ideas for the next time i go out. These are a couple of those images, when i was shooting i naturally saw everything in B&W because i knew that’s how i would finish them. With one exception.

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A ways down from the van there was a small oak tree near the road. On this tree was a few leafs and a whole lot of hoar frost. I love hoar frost, i shoot it every tie i get including Yellowstone and one of my newer favorite places Bear River Wildlife Refuge. It wasn’t long before everyone showed up and we all started walking around the tree photographing the few leafs that were left. The only three problems, or obstacles, was finding good shaped leafs, no branches and the most important a clean background. Dark is usually better, and green is always good. It’s simple and fun and that’s all it takes.

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Images captured with Nikon D3, Nikkor AF-S 70-200 VrII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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