Categories: Fossil Beds
Photo: Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California
I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately. I feel like I haven’t created any true masterworks of photography in at least a few weeks. Inspired by countless images of Yosemite shared in photo-havens like Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram, and wow’d by the millions of double-tap likes they generated, I finally convinced myself I had to get my own true masterpiece. But I didn’t want to have just any old shot that no one else had, I wanted THE SHOT. So I did as much research as I could. I looked on 500px and fav’d every uber-dramatic Yosemite picture I could find. But I was determined to out-do them all. I then turned to Google Maps for more detailed research, then to Google Earth. But that wasn’t good enough, so I bribed a security guard at NASA Ames Research Center with 13 Canadian dollars to let me see some LANDSAT Satellite photos which I downloaded into my iPhone-17 4k uranium-plated wristwatch. Once I had my coordinates, I set off to get what I was sure would be the most unique shot I could muster.
After 5 hours of driving the speed limit, I finally burst out of a long tunnel to one of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen. I knew right away, this was it: THE SHOT! I would GET THE SHOT. But my enthusiasm for thinking I would be photographing this grandeur in solitude was quickly shattered when I saw a long line of inter-locked tripod legs stretched across the length of the viewpoint. I walked up to the phalanx muttering to myself, “Gotta get the shot.” Fortunately I saw a buddy of mine, Youssef, who was just stepping out of the line and offered me his spot. As soon as I got in line, the guy on my left comments to me, “Hey, that’s a pretty expensive camera. I bet it takes good pictures, huh?” “That’s nothing,” says the guy on the other side of me, who then proceeds to explain to the first guy how his 835Mp Point-n-shoot is simply the greatest camera ever invented, and how it was reverse-engineered from a crashed alien spaceship. The only thing I could hear through all this techno-gibberish was my own brain repeating “Gotta get the shot; gotta get the shot; gotta get the shot,” drilling itself deeper into my head like a gopher on speed.
Finally, at that moment when the sun was about 54% degrees above the horizon in the western sky, the light was perfect, and yes, by Gosh, I got the shot. Just as I was turning to leave, I saw my good friend, Jim Goldstein looking to get his own shot. So with a swift elbow to ribs of the guy on my right, and an ‘accidental’ tripod shot to the guy on my left, I was able to let Jim take over my spot. I heard he also pulled off a pretty amazing shot, and I think you owe it to yourself to check his shot out here. His is almost as good as mine.
Btw, a note about processing: Even though I always shoot in the middle of the day, I still think Read the rest of this post »