With my camera I’m able to create my own version of any view, adjusting focal length (the amount of magnification) and composition to emphasize whatever elements and relationships I find most compelling. Today’s image was captured on the final shoot ofmy most recent fall workshop, three sunsets after my previous image, from virtually the same location.
On Sunday evening (the first sunset), with Yosemite Valley emerging from swirling clouds and the moon high above Leaning Tower, I chose a wide composition that encompassed the entire scene. Wednesday evening the eastern horizon was partially obscured by a uniform layer of translucent clouds. As the sunset progressed, we watched the moon’s glow rise through the throbbing pink clouds. When it slipped into a small opening I quickly tightened my composition to create a frame that was all about Half Dome and the moon. I made the Sunday moon a delicate accent, the Wednesday moon a bold exclamation point. These decisions remind me that photography is more than simply documenting a moment; it’s taking that moment and using the camera’s unique vision to convey its essence.
One more thing: By the last day of a workshop, relationships have been forged and inside jokes have blossomed. The group interaction feels more like a family gathering (minus the disfunction) than the assembly of diverse strangers we were three-and-a-half days earlier. On this evening in particular we had a great time laughing about things that anyone who hadn’t been in the workshop couldn’t appreciate. It was lots of fun, and a wonderful way for me to wrap up this year’s fall workshop season.