Yosemite and Eastern Sierra

PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR
Oct. 7 - 19, 2013

An intimate group tour, with an expert guide and professional photographers.
John Muir, a famous American explorer described the Sierras as “The most divinely beautiful of all the mountain chains I have ever seen”. John Muir travelled the world and visited many of the planets beautiful wild places.

Photography by David Metcalf

A TRIP FOR PHOTOS
The beauty about photography tours is that we are there to photograph with no distractions. Our tours are always restricted to a maximum of 10 photographers so that there is plenty of one-onone time with an expert photographer. Travelling around each day with people who have similar interests creates a wonderful atmosphere in which to also learn from each other. Skill levels are catered for from beginner to expert. This tour will be very special, as we will be discussing and learning from one of the great photography masters - Ansel Adams. “Both the grand and the intimate aspects of nature can be revealed in the expressive photograph. Both can stir enduring affirmations and discoveries, and can surely help the spectator in his search for identification with the vast world of natural beauty and wonder surrounding him.” -Ansel Adams

THE ITINERARY:
Day 1 | Los Angeles - Start
Starting in Los Angeles, we meet the group for a welcoming dinner on the first night. The group meets at the Marriott Hotel, 4100 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Ray around 5 pm.

Day 2 | Death Valley

We leave early for Death Valley planning to arrive by early afternoon. Check into the Furnace Creek Ranch and then explore parts of Death Valley at Sunset.

Day 3 | Lone Pine

Leave Death Valley after a spectacular Sunrise shoot of the area. Arrive in Lone Pine on Hwy 395 where we sleep the night at the Comfort Inn. We will photograph the Alabama Hills at Sunset.

Day 4 | Lonely Pine to Mammoth Mtn.

Up early to catch Mount Whitney and the spectacular Eastern Sierra Range. We will spend the morning photographing in the area and then onto June Lake near Mammoth where we will stay for four nights in Cabins beside the Lake.

Day 5 | Mountain Lakes

This morning we will photograph stunning, crystal clear Mountain Lakes in the area and the hillsides ablaze with golden Aspen trees. In the afternoon we will visit Devil’s Postpile, 60 ft vertical six sided Basalt columns.

Day 6 | Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Another morning of spectacular scenery as we drive high up into the White Mountains to photograph something unique in the world - The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest and the oldest trees on the planet!

ITINERARY CONTINUED:
Day 7 | Mono Lake and Hot Springs
Off to Mono Lake for sunrise, followed by a visit to one of the hot springs in the area to bath and relax then finally the classic western town of Bodie in the afternoon. We will capture sunset at Mono Lake before returning to our cozy cabin at June Lake.

Day 8 | Tioga Pass to Yosemite!

Another exciting day of photography as we leave June Lake early and drive across the Tioga Pass to Yosemite arriving late in the day to capture the late afternoon rays on Half Dome. Stay the next 3 nights at the Evergreen Lodge in Yosemite N.P.

Day 9 | Yosemite Falls and Ansel Adams Museum

All day exploring the wonders of Yosemite including El Capitan, Inspiration Point, Yosemite Falls, Mirror Lake, McGuire Meadow, Glacier Point and we will visit the Ansel Adams Museum.

Day 10 | Sequoia Trees and More

Sunrise shooting over Yosemite and then a visit to Mariposa Grove and the giant Sequoia trees. Also learn about the American Indian tribes that frequented the park for thousands of years. As we near a full moon, expect spectacular sights over the Mountains.

Day 11 | Yosemite to San Francisco

Leave Yosemite and head to San Francisco planning to arrive early afternoon to check into the famous Rex Hotel where we will stay for two nights. Sunset shoot this evening.

Day 12 | San Francisco

An optional early morning Helicopter ride over the Golden Gate Bridge for those interested and taking in many sights of this wonderful city. Farewell dinner that night to exchange contact info and possibly even plan what is next.

Day 13 | San Francisco

Check out this morning for those leaving, and a full day to photograph and explore San Fran for those staying on. Some of the group will be driving back to LAX along the scenic Big Sur coast.

FROM THE START
This photography tour will take in some of the best landscape photography in the world, as it is so diverse. Starting in Los Angeles, we make our way to Death Valley on the first day. Described by Zane Grey, an author of many westerns, “It was sunset when we arrived, a weird, strange sunset in drooping curtains of transparent cloud, lighting up dark mountain ranges, some peaks of which were clearcut and black against the sky, and others veiled in trailing storms, and still others white with snow.” Death Valley is one of the highlights of this tour. It is one of the driest places on earth and some years there is no rain at all, thus creating a very unusual and photogenic landscape. Many movies have been shot here including the first Star Wars film, and Planet of the Apes. After Death Valley we head up Scenic Route US 395 described in a historic1939 guidebook, “US 395 penetrates a land of contrasts – cool crests and burning lowlands, fertile agricultural regions and untamed deserts. It is a land where Indians made a last stand against the invading white man, where bandits sought refuge from early vigilante retribution; a land of fortunes- past and present - in gold, silver, tungsten, marble, soda and borax; and a land esteemed by sportsman because of scores of lakes and streams abounding with trout and forests alive with game.”

MT. WHITNEY
We will drive up the Owens Valley, one of the deepest valleys on the planet, and one of the most rugged and dramatic. Mountains rising from the valley floor more than 14,000 feet border it. It is a landscape of sagebrush and creosote, granite boulders and snowcapped mountains. We stay the night in Lone Pine, which has provided the backdrop for hundreds of movies, television shows and commercials. In fact many of John Wayne’s movies were produced here. Lone Pine is a perfect base to explore the surrounding area and a prime subject for photographers with its classic western main street. The group will visit the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum, which has a huge collection of artifacts from the hundreds of movies shot in the area. Films and television shows that were shot in the area include: The Lone Ranger, High Sierra, Rawhide, How the West was Won, The Great Race, Maverick and Gladiator with Russell Crowe. We drive through the spectacular Alabama Hills at Sunrise and photograph Mt Whitney from many angles. However, we also take some rest from photographing and stop in at some of the many classic western saloons in the area and one of the highlights, the Still Life Café in the town of Independence. As described“the moment you step through the door you will feel transported to some French colonial outpost in North Africa, or to some back alley bistro in Marseilles.”

MAMMOTH
We stop in Big Pine and visit the Mountain Light Gallery and observe the stunning photography of local Galen Rowell who died tragically in a plane crash in 2002. We move onward to Mammoth Lakes area to photograph birdlife, beautiful mountain lakes surrounded by autumn coloured trees and tall mountain peaks. In 1879 James Wright wrote “ Where the painter, the novelist, the tourist or naturalist searches the world over for a point, that combines most wonderfully in the domains of nature, all elements of the sublime, immense, picturesque, curious, weird and varied in forms, colors, and scenery, he would not be far wrong to see it here on one of the highest granite or lava peaks under the town of Mammoth”. Expect cold crisp mornings, golden stands of Aspen trees and wildflowers over the four days we spend in this area. We have cabins booked at June Lake, located in a glacier carved valley. We will wake up to majestic scenery all around us. We also have the opportunity to photograph stunning landscape scenery at Convict Lake, Lake Crowley and other lakes in the area and bathe in some of the hot springs in the area. We use Mammoth as a base to travel to Mono Lake, one of the many highlights of this trip. Twenty miles long, it is often so smooth that the opposite Mountains are mirrored in it as clear as glass. Mono Lake is a freak of nature and we will capture the striking light on the lake at sunrise and again at sunset. Next, we have another highlight, the old historic western town of Bodie, which dates back to the 1860’s when gold was discovered in the area. Bodie is one of the most authentic Wild West towns in America and you can almost feel the spirits of old when you wander around the old buildings and saloons, photographing and capturing the spirit of this deserted ghost town. Bodie is set in a very beautiful, wilderness area with snow capped mountains all around.

YOSEMITE
We then travel over the Tioga pass to Yosemite. This is a spectacular drive and the scenery is simply stunning. We climb to 3031 meters and pass through green, lush meadows, rivers, lakes and creeks as we make our way into Yosemite National Park. Many people have tried to describe the incredible magic of Yosemite and many have tried to capture it through the camera lens, but Ansel Adams was the true master. He wrote, “Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” To quote again, from John Muir, “This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.” Our group will spend three days exploring this wonderland of nature and capturing it from many angles at different times of the day. October is the time when the park is least crowded and we will be there to capture the full moon over El Capitan and Half Dome. Mark will be giving photography tips on landscape photography every day as we tour around the park. Expect to see coyotes and other wildlife, particularly as there will be less people at this time of the year. We visit the Ansel Adams museum and discover more about this remarkable man, and I am sure you will find his work to be a source of inspiration.

SAN FRANCISCO
We move onward to San Francisco where we will spend the last two nights of the journey. There will be little time for rest as we visit some of the special places of this beautiful city. Dylan Thomas described the city this way “ You wouldn’t think such a place as San Francisco could exist. The wonderful sunlight here, the hills, the great bridges, the Pacific at your shoes. Beautiful Chinatown. Every race in the world. The sardine fleets sailing out. The little cable-cars whizzing down The City hills….and all the people are open and friendly”. For those interested we will arrange a helicopter ride early in the morning to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge and city from the air. Our accommodation is at the beautiful and classic Rex Hotel and our farewell dinner is on the 18th of October.

(This photo compliments of Alexander Wyrick)

WEATHER:
October has been chosen as one of the best times to visit the Sierras. Much less crowded, not too cold and generally dry at this time of the year. The temperatures in October are in the mid to high 20’s in the daytime in the Eastern Sierras, but dropping down to around 5 degrees at night. You can expect the skies to be clear 68% of the time, so perfect for landscape photography. The deciduous trees will be changing color and expect the mountains to be getting their first dusting of snow, adding to the contrast.

HIGHLIGHTS:
o o o o o o o o o o Unusual land formations of Death Valley Mountain Lakes of the Mammoth area Mt Whitney and the Alabama Hills Striking landscapes of Lone Pine area Mono lake Authentic western ghost town of Bodie Vibrant autumn colors Tioga Pass drive – one of the most spetacular drives in the U.S Yosemite National Park under a full moon San Francisco, one of themost beautiful cities in America.

THE TUTOR:
Mark Rayner is an outstanding landscape and wildlife photographer. He is a very experienced teacher with tons of patience. Very passionate and likable, Mark is also a expert on post processing and editing, so you will have plenty of opportunity to learn about this critical aspect of photographing. Constantly looking for new and improved techniques, Mark stays at the cutting edge of photography to make sure you are always kept up-to-date. Mark loves helping people with their photographic pursuits and draws on his vast wealth of accumulated knowledge to ensure you learn what is needed to improve. He will be happy to share his experience with you and bring out the best in your photography, whether you own a simple “Point and Shoot” digital camera or a sophisticated digital SLR.

THE GUIDE:
Dave Metcalf, a professional photographer http:// www.davidmetcalfphotography.com has travelled extensively in the United States by train, bicycle, plane, automobile and foot. Dave cycled over 12,000 kms through the western states of the US and Canada and covered 26,000 kms by car. He was based in Aspen, Colorado for four years and in Sun Valley Idaho for two years and in between times has travelled to 41 of the 50 American States. Dave has travelled to Yosemite four times, photographing in different seasons. He is very knowledgeable about the history, culture and landscape features of this very unique Californian scenic route.

COMMENTS FROM PREVIOUS PHOTO TOURS:
“A photographic journey beyond my expectations. Thank you Mark for all your support. Your knowledge of Canon helps a lot. I look forward to doing more workshops with you. I am going home enriched by my experience.” Geoff Cooper “This was my first extended photo workshop. I did not know what to expect but have been inspired. The whole experience has been a Joy... This will not be my last.” Robin Gray “Dave and Mark, thanks for taking me on the best trip of my life so far! ...I have learnt how to shoot in all different settings-sunrises, sunsets, night photography, wildlife, portraits. In addition thanks Mark for teaching us about how to process photos to make them look awesome... This photo tour was the perfect holiday getaway jam packed with so much learning and fun! Cant wait for the next one.” Joyce

PREPARATIONS:
VISA and PASSPORT: To visit the U.S you need a B 2 tourist visa, which can be obtained online by visiting http:// canberra.usembassy.gov/business-tourist/b1---b2-visa-info.html. You generally need minimum six months validity on your passport so please check your passport expiry date. Australia is also part of the visa waiver program however you must meet certain conditions found at http://canberra.usembassy.gov/visa_waiver_prog.html. HEALTH AND INSURANCE: We strongly recommend you have travel insurance. Medical bills are very expensive in America, so to travel without insurance is not recommended. Whilst we will take every precaution to protect your camera gear and the vehicle will be locked at all times, it is advisable to have your personal camera equipment covered by travel insurance. Whilst we will be travelling in areas where crime is very low, theft does happen, as you know doubt see on TV crime shows! START AND FINISH: We meet at the Marriot Marina Del Rey, 4100 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles on October 7, 2013. We depart the next morning for Death Valley. We finish at the charming Rex Hotel, in San Francisco on the morning of October 19th. ADDITIONAL LIMITED ADD-ON: For those with enough time to drive back to Los Angeles from San Francisco along the Big Sur coast, there is an option to return the rental vehicle. Costs to be covered individually.

RECOMMENDED CAMERA AND EQUIPMENT:
o o o o o o o o o o o o DSLR Camera Lenses ranging from 14 mm - 300 mm I expect the wide angle to mid range e.g. 14 -70 mm will get used at least 80% of the time Macro lens Sturdy tripod is a must with cable release for night photography Filters e.g. Polarizer, ND and Variable ND Lens Hood Small backpack for use when walking to carry camera and 1 lens Laptop Extra memory cards Plenty of data back up capability 1 extra camera battery

COST OF THE TOUR:
Keep in mind that this comes with the exceptional guidence of professional photographers, You will not go home with out incredible experiencess and improved photography knowlege. $ 5826 USD based on double occupancy $ 6360 USD based on single This includes: o o o o o o 12 nights accommodation All Breakfasts Six Dinners Six Lunches All Ground transport from the Marriott (L.A) onwards Park fees

Excludes: o o o o Airfares Tips Alcohol Visa fees

HOW TO BOOK:
Please visit here: http://www.davidmetcalfphotography.com/photo-tour/california-eastern-sierraoct-2013/

CONTACT INFO:
Email: davidmetcalf3@mac.com Phone: +62 8111 331255

DAVE METCALF MARK RAYNER -

Email: markrayner@tailoredphotography.com.au If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out!