Yosemite Workshop #1

February 27th, 2010 in Landscape, Nature & Wildlife, Photography

For Christmas, I received a Photography Workshop in Yosemite National Park from my unbelievably amazing wife. The workshop was with Steven Johnson a legendary landscape photographer based in San Francisco who grew up in nearby Merced and who has photographed Yosemite, the Central Valley and the west for years. (www.sjphoto.com)  More on Steven, the workshop and what I learned later.  Recently I went on the Workshop adventure and would like to write a few blog posts about the experience.

First off, I grew up in Pennsylvania and had never been to Yosemite or most of the great western National Parks. Why it took so long, I have no explanation or excuse.  Yosemite is incredible and everything that has been written about it is true, but no book or video could possibly do it justice.  If you have not been there: GO!

As an aspiring landscape photographer the experience was more than a bit daunting. Yosemite is THE place for landscape photography.  Everyone knows Ansel Adams’ spectacular images and the iconic photos of El Cap, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome that seem to grace thousands of books and calendars and seem to be everywhere you look.  How could I possibly go to Yosemite and take photos of anything other than the icons.  But, does anyone really need another photo of El Cap?  Well fortunately, Steven was the right person to go with and learn from.  His mantra throughout the workshop was simplify! For Yosemite and in many other situations; great advise.  Of course I did take “the Icons”,  how could I not?  But I also worked on simplification.  I have posted two Yosemite Galleries in the Special Places area of my website.  The first is Yosemite – The Icons, the second is Yosemite – My Vision. The Icons for the most part are “grand landscapes” and several are large multi-shot stitched panoramas best viewed in the slideshow.  Sorry, I just had to do it…

The second gallery is more how I personally see and shoot.  Many of these shots also follow Steven’s advise.

More soon.


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