Every so often I take the time to look through images I’ve taken, and as much as the images remind me of a particular place and time, it’s a learning experience as well. It always seems like I see something different in almost every image and think of a certain feeling or experience when I look at again after not seeing it for a while. Next month it will have been 4 years since I visited Yosemite National Park, and after looking through all the images I took there, it seems like it was only yesterday that I was there. As I stated in my previous post on Yosemite here, it is a stunningly beautiful place. Whether you are a photographer or not, you just have to go there and experience it. Christopher Robinson, Editor of Outdoor Photographer Magazine, says in his “In This Issue” column of the May 2012 issue that “Yosemite National Park is the George Clooney of the nature photography universe. Its celebrity is unparalleled, it’s instantly recognized, and photographers flock to the iconic park in droves, jostling for spots to capture the view of the valley like paparazzi wrestling for a place near the red carpet of a film premier.” Christopher goes on to say that he recently heard an interview with Clooney that made him think of a comparison to Yosemite. As an international superstar, Clooney has no privacy, and just like Yosemite, everyone wants to take his picture. What he has observed is that whether he’s saying hello to a fan or signing an autograph, the person has a camera phone sticking up, shooting video or snapping pictures. Clooney’s observation was spot on when he said, “I think most people are experiencing less and recording more.” My point in mentioning this is that as photographers we want to capture all the iconic images of great places like Yosemite, but we have to be sure to experience the place while we there. Put down your camera for a few moments, listen to the sounds, smell the smells, and let your eyes take in the sights around you. When you pick up your camera again, I guarantee you that you’ll take better images!
Except for the Yosemite Valley Sunset, the other images were taken during the last few hours of our time in Yosemite. Several times a day the Ansel Adams Gallery sponsors a photography walk with a gallery photographer. During a fun and informative 2 hour walk around Cook’s Meadow in Yosemite Valley, the gallery photographer gives many great tips on how to set up and photograph various subjects during the walk. It was great just wandering around the valley for a few hours. I mostly listened and looked around as we walked, trying to take in the last few moments of my Yosemite “experience.”