THE GRANDEUR OF YOSEMITE
Seven days, Six nights – Yosemite National Park, Bodie Ghost Town & Mono Lake
Sunday, June 5 to Saturday, June 11, 2016
A minimum of 8 attendees is required
Join me in one of the beautiful and mystical National Parks. More than 45 times over the past 30 years I’ve photographed and hiked in Yosemite, locating and mapping the most scenic areas with the time of day for the best light at each location.
I’ve experienced the beauty of Yosemite in the four seasons with each time of year providing its own unique beauty. I’ve taught workshops here and have visited each area a number of times. Each time I discover new places, views and natural wonders. Come with me to experience the Grandeur of Yosemite.
Photographic areas include: Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite Falls, The Mariposa Grove and my favorite places along the Merced River. We’ll also photograph the upper part of the National Park along Tioga Road including Olmsted Point. We’ll spend a most of the day in Bodie Ghost Town in the Sierras and photograph the tufa at Mono Lake
The first full day is dedicated to the best locations within the valley. We’ll photograph at many of the sites made famous by Ansel Adams. The valley provides opportunities to photograph 2000-foot waterfalls, soaring rock formations, reflections in the Merced River and redwood filled forests. We’ll photograph in the Mariposa Grove of giant Sequoias and visit the Grizzly Giant – a 3000-year-old Sequoia.
Each evening, after sunset, is on your own but many attendees often join me at dinner and talk about photography. It is such a delight discussing the highlights of the day’s photography while sitting at dinner and in the Great Room of the unique Ahwahnee Hotel built in 1927.
The workshop is open to beginners through experienced photographers. Yosemite is ideal for digital photography of panorama scenes and high dynamic range images.
INSTRUCTOR – John Mariana
In 1990 I started photography workshops and since then have conducted numerous in-the-field workshops in Yosemite National Park, Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico, Monument Valley, the Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde and Illinois State Parks.
Considered an excellent, experienced instructor, I specialize in teaching the beginner through the experienced level student how to improve their visions and how to really see the images they want to capture. This workshop is ideal for learning how to use digital photography to capture the full range of a scene including panoramas and high dynamic range (HDR) images.
This area is filled with special wonders. If there is fog in the morning the meadows provide wonderful scenes with backlight.
Glacier Point is 3,200 feet above the valley floor. This location provides a panoramic view including a spectacular view of Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and Clouds Rest.
A stupendous vista stretches out for many miles north and east, over the forests and meadows around the Merced River.
A little way north is the steep canyon of Tenaya Creek. Opposite this viewpoint, Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls cascade 2,400 feet. It is a special experience to see and photograph at this location.
UPPER TIOGA ROAD
The road follows the twists and turns of the Sierra Nevada Mountains through the forests and then opens up for mountain views of Mount Clark and Mount Hoffman. Olmsted Point provides a panorama view of Tenaya Canyon, Tenaya Lake and granite giant domes including the back of Half Dome, and Clouds Rest. This viewpoint is considered to be one of California’s finest. The road ends at Mono Lake on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada.
BODIE GHOST TOWN
Bodie began as a mining camp of little note following the discovery of gold in 1859 by a group of prospectors, including W.S. Bodey. In 1876, the Standard Company discovered a profitable deposit of gold-bearing ore, which transformed Bodie from an isolated mining camp comprising a few prospectors and company employees to a Wild West boomtown. By 1879, Bodie had a population of approximately 5000–7000 people and around 2,000 buildings. Bodie’s mines produced gold valued at nearly $34 million.
Bodie boomed from late 1877 through mid- to late 1880. The first newspaper, The Standard Pioneer Journal of Mono County, published its first edition on October 10, 1877. The first label of Bodie as a “ghost town” was in 1915. By 1920, Bodie’s population was recorded by the US Federal Census at a total of 120 people. Fire ravaged much of the downtown business district in 1932.
Bodie is now an authentic Wild West ghost town. The town was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and in 1962 it became Bodie State Historic Park. A total of 170 buildings remain.
Mono Lake Tufa
The unusual rock formations in Mono Lake are known to geologists as tufa (too’-fah). Tufa forms in a variety of ways at Mono Lake, but the most visible and remarkable formations are the towers along the Mono’s shoreline. The greatest concentration of these towers is located at the South Tufa grove. We arrive at this location at sunset because the light is best and the tufa glow with the sunset colors. This is a very special location. This is a good location for panorama photography.
The workshop is open to all skill levels, beginner to advanced. Here are some guidelines to follow before attending the workshop.
You will need to know your camera. There are so many models and variations of cameras that we cannot know all the options on your camera. Before attending you should learn how to set the following features of your camera. On the workshop you will learn how to use these features to capture great images including panoramas.
- ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture
- White Balance
- Focus point or matrix
- Camera mode – automatic, aperture preferred, shutter preferred and manual
Walking, not hiking
In Yosemite Valley we walk along flat trails and encounter some very minor incline trails. Some locations are a couple hundred yards from where we park. At Bodie Ghost Town the terrain is flat. You will walk around the town during the hours we are there. There are places to sit and rest. At Mono Lake we walk a flat trail to the shore that is about ¼ mile from the parking lot.
There are mosquitoes so bring bug spray.
WORKSHOP REVIEWS BY PREVIOUS ATTENDEES
Stennis Shotts – Georgia, 2012 Workshop
Spending a week in a beautiful location like Yosemite with others who have a love for photography and with a patient, knowledgeable teacher like John was fantastic. John works with you at your skill level and with his extensive knowledge of Yosemite you get to photograph and visit locations most park visitors would never see. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who has a desire to take their photographic skill set to the next level.
I attended a photography workshop in Yosemite taught by John Mariana 2014. It was one of the best weeks of my life. I’m a DSLR beginner. The workshop is extremely organized and John is very knowledgeable. Each day he would take us to a perfect site at a perfect time. Never mind it was 5:30 am. As we arrived at the picturesque site, John would cue us as to what made this site special, what to look for in terms of composition, and what were the best lenses and basic ISO and Aperture we might need.
I attended John’s Yosemite Workshop in the fall of 2012. The workshop was extremely well organized to insure optimum shooting opportunities in the best possible light. John does an amazing job of working one-on-one with each workshop participant, insuring that each gets help and/or instruction at a meaningful level so that the information can be both understood and retained. John’s excitement about photography and love of Yosemite combine to make this a great workshop experience.
Emmanuel Petkas – Georgia, 2012 Workshop
I want to thank you again for the wonderful workshop you led in Yosemite. Your personal attention to my photography as it once was and how to improve it helped me immensely to leap ahead in my expertise. I now look at exposure, histograms, and the blinkies more closely, thus, better shots. I don’t think there are many photographers that have your knowledge of those special places to shoot in Yosemite.
Dorothy Copeland – Georgia, 2012 Workshop
This was a wonderful adventure. It added so much to my previous experiences of Yosemite because of your knowledge of the area – so cool visiting places out of the realm of the ordinary visitor. Your patient sharing of your photographic skills, the camaraderie, great scheduling all added up to a perfect trip.
Mark Bates – Illinois, 2011 Workshop
The workshop was FANTASTIC. I learned a lot in the week’s time. The workshop was enjoyable, educational, and entertaining. John’s knowledge of the features of Yosemite (Bridal Veil Falls, Half Dome, Hiking Trail to Mirror Lake) is something to inspire us all.
The workshop included compositional and technical instruction as well as afternoon sessions “Reviewing and Working” your images. John taught us to “Trust in Ourselves” and in our work”.
I waited over twenty years to take a workshop like this. I was not disappointed. I look forward to his next one.
Eight rooms for six nights have been reserved at the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls on the valley floor at the base of Yosemite Falls. These rooms are extremely difficult to reserve and are booked a year in advance.
THIS INCLUDES A 7-DAY WORKSHOP FEE AND A YOSEMITE LODGE ROOM FOR 6 NIGHTS (double occupancy) – Estimated at this time, pending 2016 room rates – $1,995 per person for two attendees – double occupancy (see registration options below). An $850 deposit/person is required with enrollment. This deposit is non-refundable unless a replacement is available. A registration form and an $850 non-refundable deposit will be necessary to reserve a place in the workshop. Your deposit guarantees your registration. The remaining amount is due 120 days prior to the workshop.
When registering you would select one of the following registration options:
1. Register along with another photographer who will be your roommate.
2. Register as a single attendee and pay the additional $950 (estimated at this time, pending 2016 room rates) single room supplement. You may ask to be notified of possible roommates, however, if no roommate is found you will be responsible for the additional supplement.
3. Register and notify me that a non-photographing roommate will accompany you. You agree to
pay the additional $950 single room supplement at time of registration. There is also a $495
non-photographer fee due 120 days before the workshop.
4. Register for Workshop only and obtain your own lodging. Contact me for additional information.
If you cancel for any reason, including emergencies, your deposit will be refunded only if a replacement is available. All deposits will be returned if the minimum of 8 attendees is not reached by April 30, 2016. It is advised that you obtain Trip Cancellation insurance.
Transportation is not included. Arrange your flights and travel time to arrive at the Yosemite Lodge no later than 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, 2016. You can fly into San Francisco International, Oakland International, Fresno Airport or Sacramento Airport. Detailed maps will be provided directing you from the airport to Yosemite Lodge. Driving time from San Francisco is approximately 4 ½ hours.
The rental car center is usually very busy and it may take three hours to be in the car from the time you land at the airport. You should consider taking an early flight.
THE FEE INCLUDES
- A copy of my book – Photographing Yosemite, Bodie Ghost Town and Mono Lake
- Photographing at the best photographic locations in the best light.
- Six nights’ accommodations (or you may provide your own accommodations and be charged only a workshop fee).
- In-the-field instructions on metering, digital exposures, lenses, filters, composition, creating panoramas and High Dynamic Range images.
- Visits to the famous sites of Ansel Adams’ prints with comparisons to copies of his prints.
- A document with information about Yosemite, Bodie Ghost Town and recommending equipment, clothing and luggage.
- One-on-one composition and subject selection at each photographic area
- Metering for digital cameras
- Panoramas – horizontal and vertical
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) concepts for your level of experience
- Exposures for backlight, sidelight and soft light
- Guidance on the selection and uses of lenses
- Visits to famous Ansel Adams sites. We will view his prints of the scene, discuss Ansel’s technique and compare his prints to the scene as it is today.
- Guided tours through the valley, Tioga Road and through Tioga Pass to Bodie Ghost Town.
- The special and unique Tufa in Mono Lake.
- Comfortable walking shoes, camera, a tripod.
- Round-trip transportation from your home to Yosemite Lodge.
- Transportation during the workshop (an effort will be made to group attendees in cars)
- Meals — a grocery store, restaurants and cafeteria are available in the valley near the Lodge.
- Yosemite Valley and El Capitan
- Yosemite Falls – 2000 feet high
- Bridalveil Falls
- The Three Brothers
- Half Dome from Glacier Point
- Olmsted Point
- Bodie Ghost Town
- Mono Lake Tufa
Cook’s Meadow Sunrise – Yosemite
El Capitan Meadow – Sunrise
Main Street – Bodie Ghost Town
Learn to translate your own vision into an image and not simply take pictures.
Learn how to analyze a scene, to be aware of each element in the frame, to control your results and ultimately to see the world with your mind and heart.