Thursday, February 10, 2011


Shortly after I moved to California many years ago, my family and I ventured over to Yosemite National Park on a Sunday afternoon. To say the least, I was awestruck by the beauty of the sheer cliffs of granite rising from the valley floor, the waterfalls, river and the beautiful forests. I only took a few photos on that first trip. Over the next ten years however, my family and I made numerous return trips to Yosemite. On each trip I took more photos as we explored further the awesome views from valley floor and atop the high cliffs surrounding the valley.

Early this year, I read “Ansel Adams in the National Parks” and I remembered that I had a copy of Ansel Adam’s Autobiography in my library. Both of these books feature numerous images made by Mr Adams over the years in Yosemite and the surrounding High Sierras. As I read, and viewed the accompanying images, I recall visiting Ansel Adam’s studio in Yosemite several times while in Yosemite and admiring his work. Years later I was able to purchase one of my favorite images he made in Yosemite. It is titled, “Half Dome, Merced River, Winter,” and hangs on my office wall.

The images of Yosemite in Adam’s books caused me to go back and retrieve a number of negatives and transparencies from my files that I made on my visits to Yosemite. I scanned fifteen of them and processed them into black and white. As I manipulated the various sliders in PhotoShop’s Black and White Adjustment layer to achieve the best reproduction of the grey-scale qualities of the latent image, I was reminded again of the skill, artistry and visualization that is involved in “making” a photograph. What was I trying to convey visually and emotionally  then and what do I want to convey visually and emotionally now? This process proved to be a nostalgic reflection back to the wonders of Yosemite captured on film years ago by myself. While my images don’t compare to the masterful images created by Mr Adams, I consider it a privilege just to have walked many of the same paths he walked and to see the splendor of Yosemite on the ground glass of my viewfinder, in the processed film and the final print as he did. My images do offer the viewer some glimpses into the marvel that is Yosemite as reproduced in black and white.  View my images from Yosemite National Park.