Family Trip to Yosemite!

A weekend of fun, food, hiking, and of course photography

Travel | Aug. 30, 2017

Wow. What a journey. Yosemite never ceases to amaze me. The size of the mountains once inside the valley, the vast forest, the majestic waterfalls, iconic Half Dome... none of them can be described in enough detail to do them justice. 

A couple of my friends had never been there, and one of them had a birthday coming up, so we all got a cabin and off we went for a weekend of hiking, eating to a crazy extent, and of course, me chasing them around with my camera all day and night. I pretty much brought my whole arsenal that night, including my new favourite toy; an iOptron SkyTracker. For those that are unfamiliar with what a tracking mount does, it rotates against the direction of the Earth's rotation, allowing for longer exposures without the stars turning into trails. This, in turn, collects MUCH more light from the faint objects in space. How much more light? Well, to put it into perspective, with my Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 lens, I can only usually get to about 18 seconds before I start seeing trails in the stars, which leads to a blurry photo. I used the same lens and camera combo on this device and managed to get shots of the night sky with 2-5 minute exposures each. Needless to say, the visual difference was very impressive. I would recommend this to anyone going out to buy astrophotography gear. The iOptron SkyTracker is fantastic and easy to use... Oh, and before you ask, NO; this is not a sponsored ad. I just really like it and it was a fantastic purchase.

Here are a few of the images that I captured whilst out in the mountains. These are the images of the sky I have been wanting to achieve for years. 

10x60s, stacked. f/2, 50mm, ISO 1600 (compressed for the web)


1x300s, f/1.8, 50mm, ISO 800 (compressed for the web)


As we went into the valley, we were pumped... until we realized there was damn-near no place to park. The whole valley was packed. We drove around the loop a few times and finally touched ground about 1 mile from Yosemite Falls. We gathered near a cafeteria (with ridiculously overpriced food... weaksauce), packed up our snacks, some drink, and whatever else we needed for our short journey. As we approached our destination, we stopped, snacked, and just took in the view around us.




After a small walk, we reached a point where I needed everyone to just stop so that I could take this image, made up of 12 shots, stitched together into a panorama. 



Upon reaching the falls and having our time there, we decided that, because it was so busy and almost impossible to find parking without wasting a whole tank of gas to go visit any other area, going back to the cabin was the proper choice. Though we neglected to travel up to Tunnel View, much to my chagrin. In the end, we had a great trip. At the time we went I wasn't planning on documenting it in a blog, otherwise, I would have a lot more of us on our journey. Rest assured, that will be the case from now on. I want to share these special trips with anyone that will look or listen. This week I am headed off to L.A. with my wife for our anniversary. My camera will be at the ready... so, hopefully, I will have an awesome story and fantastic photos to share. 

Thanks for sticking with me on this one. Still trying to get into the groove of storytelling via my optics. Until next time... 




Hi! I am Ronin Dusette. I have many passions; photography, technology, music, travel, martial arts, gaming, cooking... Just whatever tickles my fancy. When I am out on adventures, I have things I would like to share, which is why I created this blog. From visual art, cooking and tech tips, and pretty much anything else I can think of to write will be verbally and visually painted here on this canvas. I hope you enjoy following me on my journey through life. Engage in conversations with me, ask questions, share your thoughts and art. I hope you enjoy what you see here. Thanks for visiting!