ImageQuest - Yosemite in Winter, for Families

Dec 28, 2007 - Jan 1, 2008

No camping in this frosty place - we stayed in Yosemite Lodge. The plan - enjoy hiking and photographing in the Valley snows on Saturday, then cross country skiing at Badger Pass on Sunday and Monday, followed by the famous Ahwanhee brunch on New Year's Day. I had to leave early, but did enjoy the full weekend.

Yosemite Falls, sharpened and rendered in black and white in homage to Ansel Adams

The lower Yosemite Falls emerges from the fog in an otherworldly way

Our late morning walk at lower Yosemite Falls bridge

At the old Yosemite cemetary

The first Superintendent of Yosemite - a simple headstone

At the Ansel Adams Gallery, an exhibit of B&W shots from the '60's - the golden age of Yosemite climbing. Warren Harding and Galen Rowell scout a route

Warren Harding

Outside the Gallery, mom and daughter check out...

...your basic squirrel

Reflections in the Merced River near Yosemite Lodge

Snow angels were hard to make in this tough old snow...


One of our happy families, at Indian Cave

Our Leader

And me, on my skis at last!

Lunch at the meadow on Glacier Point road

Anna, with Dave on the bunny slopes, her first time on XC ski's

Hey Anna, look this way!.... you ARE under control, right??

Of course, I'm an experienced downhill'er!

er.... omigod!!!

Wow, my first day on skis in over a decade was pure pleasure!

I'd been looking forward to the Big Comet Conjunction this weekend for quite some time - Comet Tuttle would traverse the bright Local Group galaxy M33 as soon as it got dark on Sunday evening. I got back from skiing and immediately went to my car and drove to find a place to set up. My planned choices didn't work out and I ended up at the parking lot on the edge of the main meadow below Yosemite Lodge. A never-ending parade of cars and headlights made it tough, and I set up my car and some blankets as light shields. Fortunately, 95% of the cars were coming from the lodge and only 5% were coming to the lodge, and the comet was straight overhead, making the light problem handle-able. But the ground fog made for danger of icing on the front corrector, and general fog had been creeping up and into the Valley all day, after Saturday's storm had cleared. A late start, condensation on the finderscope, a dead dew gun and resulting focusing problems delayed getting my first photos, and the comet was already too far away from the Galaxy to include in the 8" LXD field of view, so I changed to the 100mm lens for the shot below.

Dec 30, 8:30pm PST. 10x2min stack with ST2000xcm and 100mm Zuiko camera lens with SBIG camera adapter. Unfortunately, for some reason this set up gives very purple stars which have a strong core/halo aberration. This was the only optics I had which could get both comet and M33. The comet trailed on this version, stacked on the stars. sRGB+gamma in CCDOPS5, multi-point stacking in Registax 4, Photoshop CS2: 'make stars smaller' (I wish!), 'space noise reduction', color balance, contrast enhance, saturation, cropping.