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I know I'm coming in late on this thread, and only discovered it after noticing it based on a significant amount of traffic hitting my Half Dome and Mt Lyell shot on flickr. However, I thought I'd weigh in on the discussion.
I know for a fact when that when the atmospheric conditions are just right, the smog and haze have been blow away by a fortuitous wind after a storm, Yosemite is exposed for all to see on the top of Mt Hamilton. If fact, it can be seen on any of the Diablo Range's tall summits, including Mt Diablo. The image below was a very lucky shot that was taken with my 28mm-135 Canon IS at 135mm. Although very small, Half Dome and Mt. Lyell can be seen. If anyone would like to know specifically where I took the shot, feel free to email me.
Now about the controversial shot. I'm giving Tony Immoos the benefit of the doubt. I've driven through Patterson Many times and always wondered if Yosemite could really be seen from the vantage point that his shot taken. Although I have to admit, I've never witnessed valley clear enough to see Half Dome from Patterson, I believe that the shot is possible under the right conditions.
Using a 400mm from 67mile from Half Dome and along with the grain elevator in foreground, this is what I believe it would look like. Patterson is on the very west side of the San Joaquin valley, which would be far enough away to produce an angle that wouldn't obstruct Half Dome. If you've ever driven to Tahoe via Sacramento during the winter months, you can see most of the Desolation Wilderness's Granite peaks that surround the Lake Tahoe. The snow, like in Tony's shot, really pulls the features out. Sacramento is much closer to the Sierra Mountains than Patterson. So if you can get a view of the High Sierra's from Sacramento, you most certainly can get a clear view of Yosemite from Patterson.
My thesis... I don't believe it's a fake. Just my 2 cents.