Favorite: Sunset Palette

Celebrating the reopening of our National Parks, the third installment in my semi-regular Favorites series features one of my favorite Yosemite images *   *   * Usually an image comes together on the spot, an organic blend of location and light unique to the moment. But some images I carry around in my brain for years, fully aware of the elements and how I…

Nature is only as random as our ability to understand it

Louis Pasteur said that chance favors the prepared mind. It was one of Ansel Adams’ favorite quotes. But, as appropriate as the quote is, I’m sure Adams cited Pasteur only after enduring countless “Wow, you were so lucky to be there for that” reactions. To the casual observer, nature’s wonders do indeed feel random. Who doesn’t feel lucky when a full moon pops over…

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),…

Photographic reality: The missing dimension

“Photography’s gift isn’t the ability to reproduce reality, it’s the ability to expand it.” (The sixth and final installment of my series on photographic reality.) So far I’ve written about focus, dynamic range, confining borders, motion, and time, but I think most obvious (and also I’m afraid most overlooked) difference separating the camera’s vision from our own is the missing dimension: depth. Photography attempts to render a…

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…

Cameras are stupid

In a previous life I spent several years doing technical support. For me job-one was convincing people that, despite all error messages to the contrary, they are in fact smarter than their computers. Most errors occur because the computer just didn’t understand: If I misspell a wurd, you still know what I mean (rite?); not so with a computer. A computer can’t anticipate, reason,…

Happy Birthday, Dad

Today would have been my father’s 81st birthday. Dad was one of those people who did everything well, but I don’t think there was anything he enjoyed more than photography. His work kept him so busy that the only time he ever got to take pictures was when he was on vacation, but he made up for lost time then. I’ll be eternally grateful…