I was photographing in the early light along the Merced River in Yosemite. After spending the predawn at a famous overlook the light got very boring and flat from the clear sky. I needed to find a place I could photograph without the sky impacting the image.
I found a spot along the Merced River. The river was moving clear and fast. It was not very deep and many boulder and rocks were visible. The forest around me was still rather dark and I knew I could do some longer images here.
I was hoping for a chance at a long time exposure where the water became a blur. I framed a composition of rocks, river and the trees beyond. The light was flat and the sky was clear but in the deepness of Yosemite Valley it was still dark enough that it should work.
The images were long (stopping down to f/45) and adding a polarizer helped lengthen them more, I was taking 15 and 30 second exposures.
With that length of time I knew I could get some nice effects on film. I decided I wanted to get that into this image too, so I timed this longer exposure to coincide with me changing sheets in the 4x5. I started this picture, I am not in it, then I walked to the camera and stopped the exposure, changed sheets, and walked out. That left me as a ghost on this picture.
I really like it. The ghost of me taking pictures where the ghosts of great photographers roam.