Fall into winter

Probably the number one question I’m asked about Yosemite is, “What’s the best season for photography?” My response always sounds like it was crafted by a waffling politician, but I swear I just don’t have the absolute answer everyone wants: Yosemite in spring is all about the water, a time when the vertical granite can’t seem to shed the winter snowpack fast enough; summer offers…

Encore!

Yesterday I spent an incredible day in Yosemite, guiding a group of photographers from the Sacramento area. When I schedule these trips, I do my best to time them for nice conditions, but of course there’s no guarantee things will work out. Yesterday they worked out. Big time. Not only did we catch Yosemite Valley at its fall color peak (it’s late this year),…

I love it when things work out

October 29, 2012 My Yosemite autumn workshop wrapped up last night with a spectacular moonrise above Half Dome at sunset. That my group was there to photograph it was both a source of pride, and great personal satisfaction—I doubt few things on Earth are more beautiful than a full moon rising above Half Dome at sunset, and I love being able to share it….

Photographic Reality: See the light

  “Photography’s gift isn’t the ability to reproduce your reality, it’s the ability to expand it.” (The third installment of my series on photographic reality.) Dynamic range One of photographers’ most frequent complaints is their camera’s limited “dynamic range,” it’s inability to capture the full range of light visible to the human eye. To understand photographic dynamic range, imagine light as water you’re trying to capture from a…

Reflecting on reflections

What is it about reflections? I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love them–I love photographing them, and I love just watching them. Like a good metaphor in writing, a reflection is an indirect representation that can be more powerful than its literal counterpart. In that regard, part of a reflection’s tug is its ability to engage the brain in different ways than we’re…

If you can’t beat ’em…

If it weren’t for Tunnel View on the Wawona Road, no doubt one of the most photographed vistas in the world, this view from Big Oak Flat Road, across the Merced River Canyon from Tunnel View, would probably be the Yosemite shot we all see. Visitors arriving from Highway 120 round a bend and are greeted with this view, their first inkling of Yosemite’s…

Watch your step

Trouble brewing I have many “favorite” photo locations in Yosemite Valley–some, like Tunnel View, are known to all; others, like this location along the Merced River, aren’t exactly secrets, but they’re far enough off the beaten path to be overlooked by the vacationing masses. While I used to count on being alone here, as often as not lately I share this shoreline with other…

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

A regrettable reality of my life is that the best conditions for photography are the absolute worst conditions to be outside. Fortunately, I’ve been hardened by a lifetime of Giants games at Candlestick Park, the coldest place on Earth. As a photographer, I continue to embrace my mantra for warmth at the ‘Stick: Too much is always better than not enough. For me it’s all…

(More) Tunnel View magic

This post is for everyone who woke up this morning thinking, “Gee, I sure wish there were more pictures from Tunnel View in Yosemite.” Well, you’ve come to the right place. Okay, seriously, the world really doesn’t need any more Tunnel View pictures, but sometimes I just can’t help  myself. Call me biased, but I’ll put this view up against any in the world….

A landscape photographer’s time

On my run this morning I listened to an NPR “Talk of the Nation” podcast about time, and the arbitrary ways we Earthlings measure it. The guest’s thesis was that the hours, days, and years we measure and monitor so closely are an invention established (with increasing precision) by  science and technology to serve society’s specific needs; the question posed to listeners was, “What…