Happy New Year everybody!
In my previous post I shared an image from a glorious clearing storm over Yosemite Valley. I mentioned that we had an entire workshop of winter magic--here's another one from later that weekend.
Mirror Lake is a popular spring and early summer destination for photographers and tourists alike. But by late summer the lake is dry and the crowds dwindle. Water or not, the hike to Mirror Lake is worthwhile for its unique view of Half Dome. It's the closest non-climbers can get to Half Dome, providing an extreme wide-angle perspective from right beneath this magnificent monolith. In fact, the entire walk to Half Dome offers great views framed by trees and rocks. And Tenaya Creek, when it's running, is a constant (and welcome) distraction.
On that afternoon the entire world was dipped in white, and an approaching storm issued wildly swirling clouds across and above Half Dome's face. Occasionally a break in the clouds reveal a delicate half moon juxtaposed against Half Dome's towering outline. Eye's skyward I moved along the trail until I found a composition I liked. I fixed it on my tripod, made my exposure and focus settings, and waited. With everything ready I just stood and watched the show, crossing my fingers for a gap in the clouds to frame the moon before the encroaching weather completely obscured the scene. Patches of blue came and went, scurrying across the sky with frivolous urgency, but not quite in the right place. When my opportunity finally arrived I was able to fire off a couple of shots before the moon disappeared. Soon the sky vanished completely behind clouds gray as granite, and minutes after that the gray ceiling lowered and erased Half Dome entirely. I never did make it to Mirror Lake.
Sometimes we're so focused on the destination that we forget to enjoy the journey (there's metaphor there). As photographers we need to remain aware of the world around us at all times. That doesn't mean you should search for "shots" every conscious minute, but do try to stay in touch with and respond to how the environment touches you emotionally. There's never a time when it's not appropriate to marvel at the moment, and successful photography is largely a function of our ability to convey our marvel.
* Website: Eloquent Images
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