Summer Trip Day Eight, First Week’s Retrospective

Lambert_Dome_Reflection

On Monday, I’ll be up early—doing laundry.  And I’ll be out late—doing photography.  So, I’m writing this blog post in advance, to say a few words about my first week.  I’m now halfway through my trip.

A week ago, I imagined this as a photography trip.  To me that means seeking the best light—up before down, out after sunset, putting myself in the right place at the right time, and trying hard not to let a good photo opportunity slip away.

Visiting the Rowell’s Mountain Light Gallery the other day, I was reminded about how Galen Rowell worked so hard to be at the right place, in case the light and all the other elements of a good photo came together.

But for me, it hasn’t played out this way.  Sure, I’m doing a lot of photography, but I’m not getting up at 3:45 AM to drive to some place an hour away to be there for first light at 5:00 AM.

This is okay for infrared photography; it actually works pretty well in the middle of the day. But for visible light photography, my mid-day hikes don’t yield the best photos.  During my five-mile mid-day hike through Devil’s Postpile, I had plenty of time to contemplate this.

Instead, this trip has been about discovering new places.  As I was explaining to a friend of mine, I have to get to know a place before I can really capture it with photography.  Galen Rowell would sometimes go back to a place many different times, waiting for the conditions to be right—the light, the wind, the snow or rain.  This explains why I’ve been to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge four years in a row.

This has become a kind of a scouting trip for me.  I’m figuring out what works and what doesn’t in places like Yosemite, the Bristlecone Pines, and Bodie State Park.  I’d like to come back to try different times of the year, with different weather conditions.

I believe that these places have more to say… more to reveal… than I can discover in a quick first-time trip.  I’ll be back again.  I’ll be more ready.  I’ll know more about what I want to accomplish.

In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed the handful of images that I’ve selected for the blog postings for this first week of my trip.

I’ll be back with another post on Tuesday.

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