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#59066 - 03/18/09 12:58 AM Half Dome view from Denair CA
Anonymous
Unregistered


About a month ago, photographer Tony Immoos from Sacramento got wind of views into Yosemite from the Central Valley floor, and went looking to get a picture.  Below is his picture.

The picture got me pretty excited because I have driven by the grain elevator dozens of times (on Montpelier Road), and because I grew up a few miles from there.

Click on the image for full size (1.5 MB).

Tony's image and write-up is here:  On The Outside Looking In.

Tony also posted a four-photo composite panorama taken from the same place (Click on the image for full size 1.3 MB).

Tony's image and write-up is here:  Yosemite NP and Half Dome from Denair, CA.

So, with all my excitement, I emailed Wayne from this board, and with his help, created an annotated version of the panorama.  I posted it on SummitPost, and people pointed out some mistakes.  Then Mike C from Las Vegas posted his program-generated view.  At first, I did not appreciate the significance, but I emailed him asking about his "program".  It turns out he has spent hundreds of hours creating the program to process USGS data and create the most incredible simulated views.  Not only that, but he can then use his view to pinpoint the geographic location of each peak in the display.

Here is his computer-generated view of the first picture:


And here is the result of all the help I got from both Wayne and Mike: (Click for full-size, 320 KB).


By the way, if you are driving on the 99, that view lines up in Turlock just south of the Monte Vista Avenue (Stanislaus State University) exit.  But there are very few days when it is clear enough to see that far.

Edit 4/4/09:  Yesterday I had the opportunity to stop by the camera site, to see what I could see. While it was nearly clear enough, there were clouds in the Yosemite area so I didn't see the famous view. But I was impressed with this: That picture is phenomenal! I held out my arm as far as possible, and using my thumb, tried to measure the width of the view. Note the first picture above. I could see the grain elevator and the roof of that big shed to its right. They look tiny -- the ARE a mile and a half away. And my thumb HID THE ENTIRE WIDTH OF THAT PICTURE!!! -- from grain elevator to entire width of the shed's roof.

If I could have seen Half Dome, it would have been visible through the eye of a safety pin at arm's length!

Update April 2010: Mike Condron visited the camera site and got a video of the same scene.

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#59078 - 03/18/09 10:21 AM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: ]
California-Trailwalker Offline
Member

Registered: 12/27/02
Posts: 959
Loc: Columbus, OH (formerly SoCal)
WOW!! Such a rare view. My first reaction upon seeing the picture was that it just had to be Photoshopped somehow -- no way was HD that hugely "out of proportion" to the rest of Yosemite from so far away. I mean even when photographed from the famous Yosemite overlook just as you enter Yosemite Valley from the west, it doesn't even look anywhere near that large in porportion to the immediately surrounding area.

But once I realized that this was for real, I was just awestruck at the incredible beauty of the view from that side of the range! I used to live in Sanger (just east of Fresno) between first and third grades, and even then, I don't remember many clear days with these kinds of views. I've been loathe to change my computer "wallpaper" (a fine shot of Laura's from a few months ago), but this is tempting.

Thanks for sharing! You really get a sense for the upending of the earth from the Central Valley to the eastern slope from the west side! Just imagine what it all must have been like before air pollution was a factor.

CaT

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#59080 - 03/18/09 10:37 AM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: California-Trailwalker]
Anonymous
Unregistered


> My first reaction upon seeing the picture was that it just had to be Photoshopped somehow

  wink   Yes, that is what a few people claimed when it was first posted.

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#59081 - 03/18/09 10:47 AM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: ]
Bee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 382
Loc: Northern Ca
Thank you so much for bringing this picture to our attention -- its FANTASTIC!! I have been up and down the valley in the general area, and I never knew that such a view existed. I betcha that the posters on the yosemitenews.info board would love to see it (I lack the skills to import it for their enjoyment).Years ago, I once saw Shasta from the north valley and I about crashed trying to burn the view into my psyche.

B
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The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#59082 - 03/18/09 11:22 AM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: ]
Ken Offline
Member

Registered: 01/29/03
Posts: 2446
Loc: Studio City, Ca
I'm skeptical. I've just probably not had enough coffee, but this just doesn't seem right.

The proportions seem wrong.
The difference between El Cap and HD seems way too big at this distance.
The distance from Cloud's Rest to HD seem way too far.

There seem to be intervening things missing. Look at this photo from the top of HD looking toward the valley: where are the mountains/ridges on either side?


Finally, this is quite a dramatic photo. How is it that this view is unknown to the world?

Of course, in order to prove that all crows are not black, it is not neccessary to prove that no crow is black, it is sufficient to produce one white crow.......

I suppose I've got to go look. Obviously a winter shot.

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#59083 - 03/18/09 11:44 AM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: Ken]
Wayne Offline
Member

Registered: 01/12/03
Posts: 715
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Ken, I shared your same skepticism, until I finally got some solid IDs on Clouds Rest and Sentinel Dome. Once I figured that out, all my calculations for all the other peaks fell into place.

What throws all of us is that the photograph was taken by a serious telephoto lens, so everything is HIGHLY magnified, which we are not used to seeing.

For reference, our Whitney Cam covers a 7-degree field of view (13 miles away). The panorama, however, was shot 67 miles from Half Dome, and the entire panorama sweeps only 6 degrees. It is an amazing photo, even though the quality of stitching four photos together is less than what the photographer would desire.

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#59084 - 03/18/09 11:45 AM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: Ken]
ShredMaster Offline
Member

Registered: 07/11/05
Posts: 8
Loc: Ventura County
I agree with Ken, I am skeptical as well. In addition, the angle from the Valley floor would be much more dramatic than your view from Half Dome.
Doug
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#59085 - 03/18/09 11:49 AM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: Ken]
Ken Offline
Member

Registered: 01/29/03
Posts: 2446
Loc: Studio City, Ca
Wow, messes with one's head!

My previous post had a bad link, and Steve found the correct:

http://www.freebase.com/api/trans/raw/wikipedia/images/commons_id/2611816


Edited by Ken (03/18/09 05:45 PM)

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#59090 - 03/18/09 12:22 PM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: ]
rochonchis Offline
Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 37
Loc: Santa Clara, California
Full discussion has already taken place on Summitpost.org

http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=43672

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#59092 - 03/18/09 01:50 PM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: rochonchis]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ken, your link didn't work. I Googled the link and found this:  http://www.freebase.com/api/trans/raw/wikipedia/images/commons_id/2611816

Also, it is pretty tough to refute the computer-generated image. It was generated by giving the location coordinates of the camera and then running the program using USGS elevation/location data. Compare the generated image with the one at the top.

Also, I forgot to post the Google Map view that I used to help me ID the peaks. Here are several views (click on each one for the full size), or click this link to actually go into Google Maps and play with the map yourself.




You can view my smugmug gallery here.

More links--
Write up from Elias Funez, photographer for The Patterson Irrigator. He describes seeing Half Dome while driving, and stopping and taking his photos:  Aperture Priority, Clearing up the air.

From the Yosemite Blog:  Is that Half Dome?

From The Big YZ on Flickr:lookout vistas ISO Half Dome Adventure

From Self-guiding Auto Tour of Yosemite National Park (1956) by Richard P. Ditton and Donald E. McHenry:
  "V-19 HALF DOME...On clear days it can be seen from places along Highway 99 in the San Joaquin Valley."

From Mike M on Flickr: Yosemite Valley from Denair, CA

From the Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton (just above San Jose):  lookout vistas: Diablo Range

From a Turlock High School science teacher in his post, Phreatic Ramplings: A little help for my friends:  " If they maneuver to the correct vantage point just outside of Turlock's city limits they can see directly up Yosemite Valley to the tops of El Cap and Half Dome!"

From Museum of Hoaxes, Can you see Half Dome from the Central Valley? (Status: True)

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#59096 - 03/18/09 05:31 PM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: ]
Ken Offline
Member

Registered: 01/29/03
Posts: 2446
Loc: Studio City, Ca
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's not possible, just that my senses say "no!"

Wouldn't be the first time that wasn't right!

Actually, that summitpost thread may contain the answer, that what the photo shows is NOT what one would see from the road, but a very highly amplified image, with optical distortions unique to such long lenses. That would make sense to me.

One of the things that really struck me is that in all the years I've driven the roads on the westside, I've never seen the mountains in such detail.....far too far away.

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#59097 - 03/18/09 05:35 PM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: Ken]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ken wrote:
> that what the photo shows is NOT what one would see from the road, but a very highly amplified image

Tony reported he was using a 400mm lens, but with the digital camera's capabilities, the picture is equivalent of a 1000 mm zoom on a 35mm film camera. What he used was practically a telescope, man! grin

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#59099 - 03/18/09 08:46 PM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: ]
magg Offline
Member

Registered: 09/13/05
Posts: 35
I Vote Fake. Went to that area even with High power scope, i could not reproduce that view.

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#59100 - 03/18/09 09:16 PM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: magg]
GigaMike Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 491
Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.
Originally Posted By: magg
I Vote Fake. Went to that area even with High power scope, i could not reproduce that view.

Were you looking in the right direction? cry
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#59101 - 03/18/09 09:29 PM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: magg]
Dean at Globe Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 14
Loc: San Diego
I have an ocean view from my house down a canyon. It is only clear enough to see that far 1 or 2 days every couple years. Most people who come to my house would say I was crazy for saying I can see the ocean, yet there it is occasionally.

Also the exif info is in the original photo and the shadows in the image are correct for the time indicated in the exif for when it was shot, sure that could be faked, but that is getting to be a pretty elaborate hoax.

Dean

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#59103 - 03/18/09 11:39 PM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: Dean at Globe]
Hike of your Life Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 447
Loc: Sparks, NV
While there is nothing between Turlock and Half Dome to obstruct the view of the upper 1/3 of Half Dome, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to believe the background of the photo (i.e. YV) given the foreground. Needing a supertelephoto to zero in on Half Dome like this, the sharpness of the silo (and in another photo, the cows) seems impossible to me without extreme blurring or a sudden terrestrial visit of Hubble's planetary camera to the central valley.

It's obvious the photos posted were taken by professionals who no doubt are able to manipulate more than just their f-stop. They are also digital geniuses.

I, too, vote fake, if not for knowing about telephoto and mirage effect, but also because comparing Half Dome photos from Glacier Point to those from these supposed long distance photos, the angle is just plain wrong. Gotta be an aerial view.

Here's the "view from Turlock" cropped:



And here is a photo from Glacier Point:



As you can see, the top of Half Dome is more visible from 67 miles away in Turlock than it is from Glacier Point!

Fake.

If not fake, wouldn't someone would have posted this well before Feb. 2009 if it were true when all the attention started. Welcome to 21st century photography, I guess!


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#59104 - 03/19/09 12:13 AM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: Hike of your Life]
Tony B Offline
Member

Registered: 03/16/04
Posts: 211
Loc: CA
Hike of your Life:

You nailed it - it's got to be an aerial view. That got me thinking about the angle - remember the earth is not flat but round (or so most people say) - So the farther away something is, the more the curve (or arc) of the earth would necessarily effect the angle - and the angle should be in the other direction like you were looking up at it - but instead it is an aerial view, looking down from above. If the angle were in the correct direction you would see less of HD's top. If you could see through the earth about 4/10ths of the way around the world, HD's face would look more like a floor and you wouldn't see the top at all.

So yes, the positioning might be close, but it can't be the way it looks from the silo ... or so my opinion goes.


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#59105 - 03/19/09 12:49 AM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: ]
GigaMike Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 491
Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.
Quote:
As you can see, the top of Half Dome is more visible from 67 miles away in Turlock than it is from Glacier Point!

If your looking at the top of Half Dome from Glacier Point, you have to look up at a angle of roughly 7.5 degrees. If your looking at the top of Half Dome from Denair, you only have to look up at a angle of rougly 1.5 degrees, therefore you would see more of the top of Half Dome.
_________________________
http://www.digitalalpine.smugmug.com

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#59106 - 03/19/09 01:00 AM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: GigaMike]
Tony B Offline
Member

Registered: 03/16/04
Posts: 211
Loc: CA
Mike - I think if you were almost half way around the world you would only have to look up at about 1/1,000,000,000 of a degree - but why is it that you would not actually see it at all.

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#59107 - 03/19/09 04:13 AM Re: Half Dome view from Denair CA [Re: Tony B]
Wayne Offline
Member

Registered: 01/12/03
Posts: 715
Loc: Charlotte, NC
The photographer, Tony Immoos, makes this statement for all the skeptics:

"If you thought Half Dome looked big in my original image, just look at the 100% crops.

"I didn't think of taking a wide shot when I was there, a few wide shots can now be found here, Thanks for believing, Big YZ. I didn't shoot wide but...

"This is a four shot panorama taken with a Tamron SP 500mm F/8 Mirror Model 55B, which has a adaptall Pentax K mount, adapted to Olympus 4/3 with Fotodiox 06PKOM34, taken from jpgs straight from the camera (I shot RAW + jpg), and stitched together using AutoStitch. The quality is not as good as the 400mm Sigma, and it has the weird circular bokeh of a mirror lens (dirt pile), I cropped it a bit and sized it down from the original size of 13183x2903 pixels, to a manageable 4085x800. A bit of sharpening and it looks pretty good. I did provide two 100% crops from the original file on each side. The full extent of what a 500mm lens can do on a 2X crop camera can bee seen by looking at these crops. That's a grain elevator from 1.55 miles, and Half Dome from 67 miles. That's about a 10X lens reducing 67 miles down to 6.7 miles. What's Half Dome gonna look like thru a 50mm lens from 6.7 miles?

"Incidentally, this was shot and hour and a half earlier than the other image so the lighting is different on Half Dome, and everything else for that matter."

You can read all this on his Website at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/trimmoos/3307713413/



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