Why Go To Yosemite (UPDATE)
/forum/topic/743001/4

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phil hawkins
Registered: Apr 25, 2006
Total Posts: 2491
Country: United States

tandlh wrote:
I think this is the most discussion I've seen over a really bad photo. But perhaps I'm still miffed that my attempt at getting a discussion going about Ansel Adams was sentenced to death in the Miscellaneous Forum. If only I had included a photo perhaps it would have been left alone in the Landscape Forum. But hey, what right did I have to think that a discussion about Ansel Adams belonged here. But I digress, carry on....



That's hilarious!! Well put!



JimFox
Registered: Jan 11, 2005
Total Posts: 37287
Country: United States

tandlh wrote:
I think this is the most discussion I've seen over a really bad photo. But perhaps I'm still miffed that my attempt at getting a discussion going about Ansel Adams was sentenced to death in the Miscellaneous Forum. If only I had included a photo perhaps it would have been left alone in the Landscape Forum. But hey, what right did I have to think that a discussion about Ansel Adams belonged here. But I digress, carry on....



Well atleast you have learned the value of a "dumb old photo"...

Perhaps if you go and add a dumb old B&W photo to your post that got moved, maybe it will get moved back over here...

Jim

PS and for the record I didn't move your thread



Chaz
Registered: Mar 20, 2004
Total Posts: 1144
Country: United States

A final amusing (maybe only to me) thought, to wit:

Have you ever shot a large group? You know - company picnic, office holiday party, etc.

What, as photographers, do we always tell them as they are assembling for the group portrait/snapshot? Why, we say, "Remember, if you can see the camera, it can see you."

Well, when I was on the Half Dome summit (per my photo several posts above) had I been thinking about this original thread from last year I would have said, "Hey, if you can see the Central Valley from here, it can see you!"

Now that Henry W has seen the light, I'd be interested to hear from two prominent hold-outs; Jeffrey and Phil Hawkins.

Gents - what say you?



phil hawkins
Registered: Apr 25, 2006
Total Posts: 2491
Country: United States

I've been on Half Dome as well... and I can look down the valley into the foothills, but as to whether I can see any recognizable landmarks in the valley, it remains to be seen. Perhaps being up there at night, seeing lights from a city or landmark in the valley (Chowchilla prison, etc.) taking a compass reading and accurate GPS coordinates one can scope it out and figure out what the line of sight really is. But seeing the entire face of Half Dome with that kind of detail? I ain't buying it. At most you might be able to technically see the tip of the dome, or a small piece of it, and maybe maybe.. a BIG maybe, but not a shot like that famous trick shot.



Matthew Scott
Registered: Feb 15, 2007
Total Posts: 40
Country: United States

I can't speak to this photo, but a rather similar view into the valley used to be possible from Mt. Hamilton, south of San Jose. There's a magnificent photographic panorama showing this view in the visitor's shop in the building that houses the original Mt. Ham telescope. Presumably some telescope was used to make the picture; maybe someone knows. Mt. Ham is about 4360 feet tall, so it has a considerably better angle than any part of the Central Valley. The view in the panorama is directly into the valley. I say "used to be possible" because the increasingly dusty and polluted air of the Central Valley now obscures a clean view of Yosemite nearly all the time. Nonetheless, one can often see the snowy ridges of the Sierra Nevada, and there's nearly always a wonderful view of the south Bay. It's a great 19 mile bike ride up to the observatory--and especially down from it--for those so inclined (pun intended). About 4600 ft. of climbing round trip, with a stop at Grant Park providing an enjoyable break along the way. Many wild turkeys, coyotes, hawks, and javelinas.



the_tahoe_guy
Registered: Feb 10, 2010
Total Posts: 1
Country: United States

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.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_tahoe_guy/3183466558/

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.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/trimmoos/3294080995/



Chaz
Registered: Mar 20, 2004
Total Posts: 1144
Country: United States

Speak of the Devil...

I just saw this additional "fuel for the fire" over on Yosemite Blog.com from yeserday:

http://yosemiteblog.com/2010/02/08/is-that-half-dome/comment-page-1/#comment-4766



Croce
Registered: Sep 06, 2004
Total Posts: 402
Country: United States

Haha,
On Feb 09, 2010 at 10:06 PM, A date that will live in infamy, my friend Henry W admitted he was wrong!
Croce



TBannor
Registered: Jul 08, 2005
Total Posts: 960
Country: United States

I for one can't believe there are still doubters given how many shots have now cropped up showing Half Dome from the area and the maps showing where it's possible to see the peak from the Central Valley in clear air. What, do you really think there's some vast conspiracy or something?

I imagine in the pre-smog era, seeing Half Dome from this area was routine.



WakeTurbulence
Registered: May 08, 2006
Total Posts: 247
Country: United States

I am surprised people are doubting this as well. The math seems to make sense as well as the angles.

Funny semi-related story - My brother-in-law told me he could see the Hollywood sign from South Orange County. I told him he was full of it, but less than an hour later I saw it for myself after a rain storm cleared smog away. That is a sign 360 feet wide X 45 feet high that can be seen up to almost 50 miles away, and it was super clear!
-Matt



TBannor
Registered: Jul 08, 2005
Total Posts: 960
Country: United States

I think the thing that will remove all possible doubt is when an enterprising landowner in Denair builds a platform equipped with several of those coin operated binoculars and puts up a big, "SEE HALF DOME," sign.



Greg Campbell
Registered: Jan 10, 2004
Total Posts: 1273
Country: United States

Counting just the the first-level links posted on this thread, there are well over half a dozen individual photographers who have taken pictures of HD from the Turlock / Denair area. Maybe the doubters think they are all in on the plot, and that the pictures were staged on a secret movie set hidden in the Nevada desert....
(Oh, wait! Sorry, wrong Grand Conspiracy! )

TBannor wrote:
I think the thing that will remove all possible doubt is when an enterprising landowner in Denair builds a platform equipped with several of those coin operated binoculars and puts up a big, "SEE HALF DOME," sign.


Maybe it's all a Real Estate scam?

A small telescope equipped with a deep red filter might be able to see HD more often than you'd think. Next time I'm in Cali, I'll be sure to bring my toys and give it a try.



philbinley
Registered: Jun 30, 2008
Total Posts: 760
Country: United States

Henry W wrote:
No way! I've been going to Yos for more years than most of you have been alive. I worked up here in the 50s and I feel free to state that this is a fraudulent photo. There are too many tall mountains to the west of the valley. It can't happen from ground level.


Dittos. I'm an old Yosemite dog too. 30 + years of backcountry bliss, and I can bet the farm on this one. Fake!

Bill



troy12n
Registered: Mar 24, 2008
Total Posts: 829
Country: United States

Forget the elevation or line of sight issues, the fact that you could see that far seems impossible due to the ever present smog



nugeny
Registered: Jan 22, 2004
Total Posts: 5187
Country: United States

Hey Chaz,
some one stole that picture from my backyard.

More inquiry is in order.
bob



Greg Campbell
Registered: Jan 10, 2004
Total Posts: 1273
Country: United States

Once more thought. At extremely low angles of view, over long distances, atmospheric refraction becomes significant. The light coming from HD literally bends down as it travels through the air, elevating the apparent image of HD as viewed from Denair. The calculations are very complex, but I found one quick-and-dirty formula at http://tchester.org/sgm/analysis/peaks/refraction.html

"The book Elementary Surveying gives the equivalent formula in terms of the "elevation loss" in feet of the observed object with distance (for horizontal shots): elevation loss (feet) = 0.574 * d^2, where d= distance in miles."

I don't know if the formula holds true for distances in the tens of miles. It must break down at some point.

Denair is 68 miles from HD, and roughly 50 miles from the Sierra foothills.
Assuming our formula is valid, I get an elevation gain of 2635 feet for HD, and 1425 feet for the foothills region, for a net gain of 1200 feet. For comparison, the sheer NW face of HD, that which rises vertically above the 'shoulder' of rock and debris above Mirror Lake, is about 2100 feet high. Every little bit helps!


The same effect can be seen in the setting sun. Here's a nifty tool that calculates the sun's apparent location and shape at varying elevations and atmospheric conditions. http://www.jgiesen.de/refract/index.html
The yellow orb is the apparent position of the setting sun, the blue circle represents where it really is.



Greg Campbell
Registered: Jan 10, 2004
Total Posts: 1273
Country: United States

Oooh! I has an idea!

Google Earth places the Denair - HD azimuth at 68.0 degrees from North.

Now, lookie here...
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?n=224&month=2&year=2010&obj=moon&afl=-12&day=1

On Feb 18, at 9:13 AM, the crescent moon will rise more or less directly over HD, as seen from Denair. Unfortunately, the sun will still be rising in the east, so HD will be in shadow and hard to see.

July 12 has a tiny sliver of day-old moon rising over HD at dawn.
The March 25 apparition is at 2pm, and may enjoy better light.

Jan 19, 2011 - MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
A full moon rises directly over HD. "BE THERE, IN DENAIR!"


(Oh, crap! While were arguing, the last Full Moon display passed us by on Jan 28, 2010, two weeks ago... I don't know what the weather was like, but it would have been nice to be out there ready to give it a try.)



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