Saturday, January 12, 2008
Seeing the Light
There is something about Yosemite and large format view cameras that just go together. Maybe that is the legacy of Ansel. Maybe it is because the rocks are so big.
One of my favorite images of Yosemite is not even by Ansel. It is of Ansel. There is a great photograph by Cedric Wright of Ansel up on top of a platform he had built on top of his car making an image with Half Dome in the background. Ansel is up there with tripod and an 8x10 (or maybe 11x14) is on it. It is a wonderful image that I really like as a photographer. Maybe it is because it shows us not Ansel's work, but AA at work.
After looking at the image and after looking at the amazing prints at the gallery, I thought it was just wrong to photograph Yosemite with anything less than the biggest camera you owned. I guess you could call that a "seeing the light" kind of moment.
Those are the Cathedral Rocks in the background of this image. They are big and impressive. The late afternoon light is bright across the valley. The rocks are side lit. Even on a mostly clear day they are still a "wow" sight. So I went out to the edge of a meadow and went to work to make an image.
Standing in a green meadow. Big rocks. Directional light. Using a big camera. Yep, that is what it is all about. I guess I do see the light.