Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back from Yosemite

It took me a week to edit photos from Yosemite, but I'm back and ready to share my laid back vacation. Sunday we made the four hour drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park. I followed behind my parents in my own car since I had to leave a day early to go back to work. We hit up Walmart in Livermore to pick up some necessities: flip flops, snack bars, and clear stamps for scrapbooking. ;)

I listened to Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets on audiobook as I drove. I find that listening to audiobooks relaxes me and I don't get so upset when someone cuts me off and almost hits me. Gotta love the drivers in the bay area for that! We stopped at Carl's Jr since my dad hates all other fast food joints. I went through two chocolate shakes-I dropped the first one in the parking lot just for giggles. One might say I can be clumsy. :D

We arrived to the Yosemite Lodge before 5pm and managed to grab one of our favorite rooms on the second floor in the Dogwood building. It always has killer views of the Yosemite Falls. My family loves to sit out on the deck in the nice cool shade too. See further down to learn how to make this cool photo of the signs.
I met our neighbors as I was unpacking. I accidentally walked right into their room since the door was unlocked and it was on the second floor. I keep thinking I'll grow out of these awkward moments and yet they still happen. We played the "who can get a better parking spot?" game later in the afternoon from our deck. I think in the end my dad won. I scrapbooked a little until Jenna & Logan arrived.

While riding on the Valley bus, I requested a bear story from the bus driver. He said that he was doing the last round one night and stopped at the Happy Isle stop. A black bear got on the bus through the front door walked to the back (presumably look for food) and then walked off through the back door while the driver jumped out through the driver's window! How cool and weird is that? I always love those stories.We slept in Monday morning since we were exhausted from the drive and the altitude. They really aren't kidding when they say it takes about 3 days to acclimate. We hung out by the river at our favorite swimming hole near the mist trail at Happy Isles. I found a piece of aqua glass in the Merced river that made both my mom and I very excited. Logan jumped off the rock a few times and I got some cool action photos with the D300 that I borrowed from my co-worker Mat.

We headed back to our room for a nap and some relaxing reading before heading to the Lodge pool. I met a cool kid from Wisconsin named Marcus. We played catch with him in the pool since his parents didn't want to get in the pool. As we were leaving I heard a little kid tell his father that he better get out because he was turning blue. I laughed so hard-kids really say funny things!

I sold a print on etsy on Tuesday morning and it was such a great feeling. I also started working on my Yosemite travel mini for last years visit too. I get most inspired during the time that I am experiencing it. My parents and I tried to go on a bike ride but I had a flat tire. Even with the pump it wouldn't last to ride anywhere. We decided to visit the Ansel Adams gallery instead and then grab a bite at Degnan's Deli. We rested and went swimming at the pool again before heading the Degnan's Loft for Pizza. There aren't a ton of choices of places to dine at in Yosemite Valley. I recognized the cashier at the Pizza place and it turned out he graduated 2 years behind me from TN High School! What a small world! I uploaded photos from the past couple of days to my computer before heading to bed.

Woke early Wednesday morning to take photos in the early morning light around the meadow. I took some panoramic photos and some black and white film while using Dan's incredible tripod. I went on a bike ride with my parents after my photo shoot. We ran into several places where there was construction on the bike paths. On our way back to our room to welcome Dan, we ran into a large group of people watching a black bear climb out of a tree. This made my mom's day!Dan was happily waiting with Jenna & Logan when we returned. We finally got a very entertaining bus driver who asked us questions about trivia and told us cool stories. We love when they engage us and makes us want to stay on the bus for even longer. We got off the to grab some delicious ice cream cones at Curry Village before heading back to the river near some camping grounds.
We met some really cool Irish guys who didn't know how the throw a football, so they got a few lessons from the boys. That evening we played a laugh hearty game of Apples to Apples. We played for so long that Jenna & I had between 14-16 cards each.

Thursday was a laid back morning. Mom, Dad, Dan and I went on a bike ride while Jenna & Logan headed off the Wawona and the Mariposa Grove. We enjoyed more ice cream while chatting with some visitors from southern California before heading back to the room for lunch and shade. I got all the way into the Merced River because of how hot it was. We had pizza at Degnan's Loft for dinner and then I did a blog post for the Everythign Scrapp'n blog hop.

We celebrated my Mom's birthday on Friday. We went for a bike ride and took our annual photo in the meadow of my mom tickling me with a weed.
And here is a photo of the river that we rode by:
The Yosemite waterfalls were fairly dry but had more water than the previous two years.
Instead of our normal hike up to the Mist trail, we opted to spend time taking photos along the Yosemite Falls trail instead. It was just too hot for anything else. I remembered the multiple exposure feature that the D300 has, so I decided to play around with that. Here is an example of my favorite photo that I took:
This is done in camera and can be done with film. To get this look with film,
1. photograph your subject 2/3rds of 1 stop under exposed
2. do not advance the film
3. Then repeat step 1 and adavance the film.

This can be accomplished in two ways with digital photos. The easier way is to take to separate photos and create two layers in photoshop. Then play with the opacity in both, as well as contrast, to get the desired effect.

The second way (the way I did this) is to set up your camera for multiple exposure. For the Nikon (D200, D300, D700) go the the shooting menu (camera icon), select multiple exposure and press the right arrow to the right. Select the number of shots (I selected 2), and then move down to auto gain and select the ON feature. This adjusts exposures depending on how many photos you are taking for the multiple exposure. Then hit OK. Hit OK again and an icon with multiple exposures will appear. Then take the number of photos you set your camera for. And there you have it!

To my knowledge, no Canon cameras can do this at this time.


Melissa said...

Sounds like a great vacation!! Love the photos!

Micayla said...

sounds like you had such an amazing time, what a summer vacation!
You have taken some stunning photos Michelle, I bet you cannot wait to get scrapping them!

Nat said...

oh how beautiful. so love those photos and the stories!

danilouwho said...

Glad you had such a great time - love the photo trick, so cool!

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