2011 Workshops, and Fall Color in Yosemite Valley

Big-leaf maples along Southside Drive Thursday afternoon

Big-leaf maples along Southside Drive Thursday afternoon

The Ansel Adams Gallery just opened their 2011 workshops for registration. I’ll be teaching five classes for them next year, including a Photoshop and Digital Printing workshop in January, my Hidden Yosemite workshop in July, and a new two-day night photography workshop in August. Visit my workshop page to see the complete list. Hope to see you in one of them!

Meanwhile, I spent the last two days in Yosemite Valley doing a private workshop. The weather was fantastic—we got to photograph lots of interesting clouds and chiaroscuro light patterns. More potentially photogenic stormy conditions are predicted through the weekend.

The autumn color in the valley is improving every day, but it’s still not quite there yet. There are four main types of deciduous trees in the valley: big-leaf maples, dogwoods, cottonwoods, and black oaks. The maples usually change color first, and this year is no exception. You can find nice displays already near Pohono Bridge and along Southside Drive underneath Cathedral Rocks. I’d say about 50 percent of the maple leaves in the valley had turned as of yesterday afternoon.

The other trees are a bit further behind. Perhaps 20 percent of the dogwood and cottonwood leaves have changed so far, and perhaps only 5 percent of the oak leaves. The dogwoods and cottonwoods need at least another week, and the oaks maybe two weeks.

But while the show consists mostly of maples so far, these trees produce the most consistently vibrant and beautiful color in the valley, and they are changing rapidly. I saw a noticeable increase in yellow leaves in just 36 hours. So they may peak soon—maybe even this weekend.