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USA Wanderings: Looking at Big Mountains in Yosemite

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This trip has been one of the most amazing adventures of my life. I had initially thought that I would get to see a little of California and a lot of New York, but my friends have outdone themselves. I’ve seen things that I only ever dreamed about and Yosemite National Park is a place I never thought I would ever see.yosemite-california-national-park-9284

The sign as we came in.

I didn’t have any real expectations and, again, was happy to go with the flow and just enjoy it. We were there for such a short time, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do everything, so some things were better than nothing. For me it was just so exciting to go and be able to say that I had been, that was enough for me.

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My first view of Half Dome. You hear so much about this particular one and I was so happy to see it for the first time. Though seriously everywhere you look you will see an amazing scene, so much so that many of the photos I have for you today were taken out the car window. I couldn’t stop.

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On the way there we could see plumes of smoke and there was a fire somewhere, but also signs saying it was under control. The smoke provided some interesting effects, especially with the North Dome above. We think the fire was on the other side of this.

We were staying almost across the road from here, and to the right was Half Dome, we couldn’t believe how well we picked the place to stay in, Curry Village. ThoughI have to sayΒ that I had the worst meal I’ve had since being here there, and the cabins are so basic and not that great, but you pay so much for them. The place really was set up to take as much money as they could from the tourists. We also had no internet for over a day which was a shock. It was only for one night, so it was bearable.

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Since we were so close we did some night shots as well. Mine didn’t turn out that well as the there is movement in the stars. Not sure what I did, but it gives you an idea.

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The next morning we went out early to see what we could get. We were on foot, but we didn’t mind. I think what we got was great. Then we went back for breakfast and hit the road. Β We stopped a few times on the way out to look at more mountains. Really a fantastic experience, and now I’ve been there.

I was shooting with every lens I had, the two Tamron ones and the Nikon ones. I used the D750 and the D800. I made the most of them all. They all performed well. I am really liking the kit I have with me. The Lowepro Pro Runner II AW has been fantastic. I can’t believe how small it looks, but how much I can fit into it. Shh don’t let the airlines know that it weighs a ton.

I am going to leave you with a gallery now of my photos. Again there is a lot. I’ve had a lovely day today just sitting around and playing with my photos. It has been really nice.

125 Comments
  1. Wonderful images! I love the starry sky shots and the trees in the reflection in particular. I’ve never been to Yosemite but hope to go some time.

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you Laura, it was fun trying some night shots, though it was very smoky and hard to get anything. I hope you get to go.

      September 14, 2015
  2. Wow! Some great shots. And I’m so glad you are getting to see and experience so much!!😊

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you Jodi, I am to, I keep wondering how I got to be so lucky.

      September 14, 2015
      • I am sure you deserve it cutie. You do so much for others.

        September 14, 2015
      • You are so kind to say that, I hope so, thank you.

        September 14, 2015
  3. Wow, fantastic photography Leanne!! You have been a few places I have yet to see too. So good you are having such a great trip so far.

    Too bad about the lousy food on this part, these people/companies are going to do the least possible for the maximum possible cash.

    It’s a business, there to make money but things like this will get around and hurt them in time. Tourists are not cash cows!

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you John, it has been so good to see so many places and so many more than I thought I would.

      It happens, unfortunately, but if that is the only bad food I have, that will be fantastic.

      Yes, I agree, I hope so, seriously with the money they are raking in they could do some updating, not even a tv or facilities to make tea or coffee. In Australia I’ve never seen that.

      September 14, 2015
  4. I’m not sure how this is right . . . I’ve yet to go there and I live here in the US.

    . . . I’m having a tough time making sense of this . . .

    September 13, 2015
    • It happens where I am too, you live there and think you have all the time in the world to see things, I only have three weeks here.

      September 14, 2015
    • Yeah, I’m familiar with the phenomenon.

      Looks like you are packing a lot in the three weeks. Good for you. Wish you constant amazement.

      September 14, 2015
      • Thank you Disperser, it is a common problem there are things in Australia like Uluru that I have never been to see.

        September 14, 2015
  5. Great post Leanne. I can feel your excitement in your words and your photos are amazing.

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you Nicci, it was such an amazing place to go and visit. I feel so lucky.

      September 14, 2015
  6. Enjoy your visit — your shots of my favorite place are great.

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you, and I’m sure I will.

      September 14, 2015
  7. I forget how big and beautiful our state is…even on fire! Thanks for the reminder and great gallery.

    September 13, 2015
    • You’re welcome, it is a beautiful state and so many wonderful places to take photos. Thank you.

      September 14, 2015
  8. Leanne these are wonderful! love the night shots πŸ™‚ its entertaining and fun to read about your sight seeing adventures!!

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you Debi, it was good to try some night shots there, they didn’t quite work, but that’s okay. I’m so glad to hear that, I’m having the best time.

      September 14, 2015
  9. Beautiful! I went to Yosemite many, many years ago and I loved every second of it. It was almost like being back in Norway, absolutely amazing.

    September 13, 2015
    • I think I can safely say that it is nothing like being in Australia, we have nothing like that there. They are incredible, I’ve never seen anything like the mountains here before. Thank you Dina

      September 14, 2015
  10. Thank you so much for sharing your experience here Leanne, I have long had a dream about seeing the Yosemite: -D

    September 13, 2015
    • I hope you can Irene, it really is one of the most amazing places you will see. You are looking up at giants.

      September 14, 2015
  11. My favourite photo for today is the one of the reflection of the mountain and the pine forest in the river. That’s simply spectacular Leanne.

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you Carol, it was great to see the water so still to get the reflectios.

      September 14, 2015
  12. These photographs are stunning! What an amazing day!

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you, it really was amazing.

      September 14, 2015
  13. Your photos make me want to go to Yosemite sooo bad!

    September 13, 2015
    • I hope you go Richard, it was amazing. I hope I can go again one day.

      September 14, 2015
      • I haven’t been there since I was much younger, but I can still remember the magnificence.

        September 14, 2015
      • I think I will remember that too for a long time. It has been one of the most amazing places I’ve been too.

        September 14, 2015
  14. Envious of you. And I’m from California. A thousand welcomes to you!

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you Mar, maybe you will have to go and check it out.

      September 14, 2015
      • I was shooting film the last time I was there. You inspire me to go back, with digital gear. Maybe both. …

        September 14, 2015
      • I like digital I can see what i am doing. Make adjustments if I have to. I hope you do go back.

        September 15, 2015
  15. Great set of images! So glad you are getting to see so many wonderful places. And also happy for you that your gear is performing as well as you hoped. Continued safe travels.

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you, it has been fantastic, and yes, the gear has been wonderful.

      September 14, 2015
  16. Feel as if i am there…bravo young lady πŸ™‚ sorry the meal was bad…lucky you are not on a food critique journey! Bev

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you Bev, it was so amazing, we just kept saying, wow, oh wow, OMG. I know, though so far it is the only bad meal I’ve had.

      September 14, 2015
      • I am very jealous πŸ™‚ and glad it was a one off bad meal πŸ™‚

        September 14, 2015
      • I can understand that, I think I would be the same, I hope you can see it one day too, though we live in a pretty amazing place too. That’s true it has been the only bad meal I’ve had since coming here. Thanks Bev. πŸ˜€

        September 15, 2015
      • πŸ™‚

        September 16, 2015
  17. Great pics! We went there 2 years ago:

    https://webetripping.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/discovering-ansel-adams-in-yosemite-national-park/.

    I’ve been enjoying seeing your trip to our country!

    September 13, 2015
    • That’s great to hear, I’ve been enjoying it too, not something I ever thought I would be able to do. Thank you.

      September 14, 2015
  18. Your shots continue to amaze me, Leanne. I am becoming convinced that you don’t sleep–you seem to be constantly on the move during this trip to the USA.

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you Mike, I’ve been moving around quite a bit which has been really nice. I can assure you though, that I do get to sleep, I have been sleeping very well.

      September 14, 2015
  19. How great that you’re having such a good time? Awesome Leanne and wonderful to see your photos and the gorgeous scenery. Thanks for sharing x

    September 13, 2015
    • You’re welcome Robyn, I am having a good time, a great time, it has been happening so fast and I’ve been so busy, it is hard to explain to people sometimes that I need a day to just veg. Thanks Robyn, hope all is going well in your part of the world.

      September 14, 2015
      • Ha ha.. Yes a veg day is needed now and then 😜
        Have fun x Yes all is well here.

        September 14, 2015
      • Yes, can’t be go go go all the time.
        That’s good to hear.

        September 15, 2015
  20. Lisa #

    envious πŸ™‚ great scenery !

    September 13, 2015
    • I totally get that. thank you Lisa.

      September 14, 2015
  21. Amazing photos! I’d love to visit Yosemite one day. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    September 13, 2015
    • It is a great thing to have on the list of places to visit. Thanks Christina.

      September 14, 2015
  22. So so so beautiful !!! Leanne ! πŸ™‚

    September 13, 2015
  23. Gorgeous shots! I love your night shots – as a macro photographer who spends much of my camera time in broad daylight, shooting flowers, I’ve really struggled with those night shots. You’ve done a great job!

    September 13, 2015
    • Night photography is another skill, and I am still learning what to do, I love macro too though, I didn’t bring my macro lens with me on this trip, but I love playing with it at home. thanks Krysten.

      September 14, 2015
  24. Great to read about and see the result of your passionate trip!

    September 13, 2015
    • Thank you Chris, it has been that for sure.

      September 14, 2015
      • Looking forward to see the rest of the trip!

        September 14, 2015
      • Off to New York tomorrow so that will be something different.

        September 15, 2015
  25. I’m so glad that you were able to visit Yosemite, which is one of our country’s greatest natural treasures. When I first saw it, the tears welled and I was stunned with its grandeur. To that point Zion National Park was my top natural wonder. Yosemite will forever be a symbol in my mind about the way our planet should be preserved and given to the people to marvel.

    September 13, 2015
    • I can see why Sally, it was so incredible to stand there and look up.I will always treasure the short time I spent there, it really was amazing. Thank you Sally.

      September 14, 2015
  26. If you cannot take magnificent pictures at Yosemite, you don’t deserve a camera. I just expect yours to be even MORE magnificent and they are. Compare yours with those of Ansel Adams — I think you are right up there with him!

    September 13, 2015
    • I think the same Marilyn, I think sometimes a place does all the work for you. I am glad my photos fitted your expectations. What a fantastic compliment, that is an amazing photographer to be compared with. Thank you so much.

      September 14, 2015
  27. These are breathtaking! I really love the night photos… the visible stars give such a beautiful effect. I’ve now added another place to my “Must See” list!

    September 14, 2015
    • It is a great place to add to the must see list, I’m so glad I got to see it, it was a great addition to the trip. Thank you Kayleigh.

      September 14, 2015
  28. Wow so many amazing shots.

    September 14, 2015
  29. I must tell you how much I love your shots. Particularly the harshness of the stone cliff edges are contrasted perfectly against the plain, yet deeply coloured blue sky. The portrait picture of mountain between trees is my favourite. The clear cut reflection in the Lake makes me very envious. Your photos have such a sense of wonder. I hope I get to visit some time. You have certainly made it look like a great place to visit! πŸ™‚

    September 14, 2015
    • Thank you, what a lovely thing to say, I’ve been very lucky I think and the weather was perfect for photographing them. I hope you get to visit them too, they really do take your breath away.

      September 14, 2015
  30. Wow you’re getting around a lot! Amazing how a new environment inspires a photographer. It does with me anyway! πŸ™‚ Lovely photo!

    September 14, 2015
    • I certainly am Peter. I know what you mean, it is good because in some ways it has made me rethink what I photograph at home. Thank you.

      September 15, 2015
  31. So glad you could make it to Yosemite. It’s a place every photographer should see with their own eyes after seeing so many iconic photos of the place. You could spend a lifetime photographing there — some have! Love the photo of the reflection of the tree roots in the water.

    September 14, 2015
    • I think you are right, it would have been nice to spend some more time there, but maybe I will get to come back another time. I think that one you like has been a favourite, thanks Doug.

      September 15, 2015
  32. Amazing photos, and really cool mountains πŸ™‚ I bet ur happy you went up that day with the cool cloudy/foggy mountain tops

    September 14, 2015
    • Thanks Anders, they are quite amazing, that was smoke, there had been some fires up there.

      September 15, 2015
  33. I am so happy that you are having a wonderful experience exploring out west.

    September 14, 2015
    • I am, it has been so amazing. Thank you.

      September 15, 2015
  34. what a spectacular place- great images Leanne!

    September 14, 2015
    • Thanks Cybele, it is one of the best places to take photos.

      September 15, 2015
  35. Great shots. I was thinking of you a few days ago, as I was taking some milky way photos of my own. I hope to publish them soon.

    September 14, 2015
    • Thank you, I hope you got some good ones.

      September 15, 2015
  36. I am glad you are enjoying your trip, and I enjoy following your photo essay. Looking forward to more.

    September 14, 2015
    • thank you John, glad you are enjoying it, hopefully lots more to come.

      September 15, 2015
  37. Love the shots of the Milky Way!!!! So glad you are having a good time in the USA. We have not been to Yellowstone yet, and your pictures illustrate why we need to go. Thanks for posting so many beautiful pictures.

    September 14, 2015
    • Thank you, I’ve heard Yellowstone is also great and it’s been mentioned that if I come back another time I should go there, that would be good.

      September 15, 2015
  38. You make me wish that I was so averse to flying.

    September 14, 2015
    • Why, wouldn’t you like to see it.

      September 15, 2015
      • Typographical error there. I should have said ‘wasn’t averse’.

        September 15, 2015
      • Now that makes more sense.

        September 15, 2015
  39. Again Stunnninngggg! I have been to Yosemite but couldn’t remember its majesty. Thanks for some beautiful photos πŸ™‚

    September 14, 2015
    • I knoooowwwwww, isn’t it, such an aammaazzzzzzzzinglyyyy beautiful place to photograph. Glad it brought back memories Karen, thank you. πŸ™‚

      September 15, 2015
  40. Wow, great sceneries and wonderful images! You have a well packed trip and you are making the most of it – for us to enjoy!

    September 14, 2015
    • It has been that Tiny, nice to get some free time here and there as well. I am loving it, it has been so much fun so far, can’t believe the trip is half over already. Thank you.

      September 15, 2015
  41. btw which of the tamrons are you testing out?

    September 14, 2015
    • I’m trying out the 15-30mm and the 28-300mm, loving both so far.

      September 15, 2015
      • 28-300mm seems too good to be true really πŸ˜›

        September 15, 2015
      • I know what you mean, but it is quite a good lens.

        September 15, 2015
      • yes yes, it is impressive that they can make something like that is what I meant

        September 15, 2015
      • Yep, yep, I know what you mean.

        September 15, 2015
      • is it the VC PZD?

        September 15, 2015
      • I don’t know, I’ve packed it away now.

        September 15, 2015
  42. Wow Leanne, you and your camera are loving your trip. Wonderful images, how exciting. πŸ˜„

    September 14, 2015
    • We are, we are having the best time. Thank you.

      September 15, 2015
  43. You have some amazing images here. I can’t wait until I go there.

    September 15, 2015
    • Thank you, I think it would be not to get great images when you have all those mountains in front of you. I hope you get some amazing shots as well.

      September 15, 2015
  44. I love the nighttime shots of the sky. Mountains give me the willies, though. Feels like they are fencing me in or might crumble all around me. You certainly are getting to take in some sights!

    September 15, 2015
    • That is an interesting feeling that you get from them, I know I felt small, but not fenced in. I’ve never experienced mountains like that before, it was mind boggling how big they were. Thank you Kerbey.

      September 15, 2015
  45. I am happy you got to see Yosemite as well. It is such a beautiful park! I spent two days there as well in 2005 when road tripping with my parents, so sad I didn’t own a camera at the time!

    September 15, 2015
    • Two days would have been wonderful, I would love to spend a week there I think, explore as much as I can, still I got to see it, and that was a great surprise, I didn’t think that was going to happen. Thank you

      September 15, 2015
  46. Yosemite is astounding…gorgeous images!! Fantastic post! Jubilant cheers to you,

    Autumn Jade

    September 15, 2015
  47. Makes me miss the mountains of America!

    September 18, 2015
    • I think I would miss those as well.

      September 19, 2015
  48. My husband and I just finished our first trip out west to Nevada and California and Yosemite. We were in Yosemite about the same time you were! For us it was like we nothing we had ever seen before. I am wading through my 2,000+ photos from my trip. Love reading about your trip and seeing your wonderful images!

    September 26, 2015
    • I have to agree, it was the same for me, and a place I would really love to visit again for longer, look around a lot more. Thank you Kristia, sounds like you had a great time too.

      September 27, 2015

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