Yosemite was gorgeous as usual. I shot the Hasselblad H4D-50, the Leica M9 and 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux-M, the Nikon D3x and the 85mm f/1.4G and a few other Nikon lenses. It will take me at least a few days to sort out all the images, and to publish some new review material.
Several days of beautiful fall weather turned into drizzle on Sunday, and a bracing first-of-the-season snowstorm late that night, which I enjoyed at odd hours, as chunky wet flakes descended at 10,000 feet elevation.
The luck of enjoying the season’s first real snowfall was cut short by my eviction by the park “service” (along with everyone else), which claimed that Hwy 120 needed to be closed due to snow, a blatant lie, since I had observed conditions firsthand at the summit from 3am until 8am, and the temperature was rising, with the few inches of snow safely slushed away by traffic, leaving the roadway all but clear. And there was only rain at Tuolumne Meadows.
I was disgruntled to lose my day’s shooting under unusual conditions that make for fine photography, but one can’t argue with robotic public servants carrying guns. Only 5 miles from Tioga Pass, I pointed out that my vehicle had mud/snow tires, and I requested to be able to exit in that direction (where I had come from moments earlier). My request was met with rigid indifference, so I was forced to drive 40 miles the other way. Later, with the road still closed, an 18-wheel tractor trailer was allowed through, showing just how capricious the road closure really was.
As I exited the eastern park boundary, I was informed that the road was now open to Tuolumne meadows, so I drove back to the closure point at Crane Flat, only to be told that it was not open. An hour wasted. So I headed home, a 5 hour drive. That same ranger was also telling visitors that the road might be closed for several days, or even the season, an outrageous speculation given the conditions and historical data.
See the article in the Sierra Wave on this topic.