I just got back from nearly a week in Yosemite National Park – four days working for Canon’s Photography in the Parks Workshops, and two days of running around on my own. Yosemite has been a focal point for environmental conservation and protection for almost 150 years, and it’s easy to see why. Yosemite is, in a word, spectacular.
John Muir, the famous 19th century environmental advocate and founder of the Sierra Club, said of Yosemite “It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.” Ansel Adams, seeing Yosemite for the first time at 14, wrote “the splendor of Yosemite burst upon us and it was glorious… One wonder after another descended upon us… There was light everywhere… A new era began for me.” Indeed, Adams would go on to marry into a Yosemite family and business (the gallery is still in operation today) and make some of his most famous photographs while living in the Yosemite Valley for some 30 years.
So just a bit about the Canon program – if you’re in the Grand Canyon, Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, or Acadia at any point this summer, be sure to check it out.Â They let you try out Canon camera bodies and lenses and give a bit of instruction, all for free, and run a photo contest for images taken in the National Parks.Â It was my first foray into teaching people about photography and how to use their cameras better, and I got to use some funny lenses that I probably wouldn’t otherwise own (17mm tilt-shift and 100mm macro).Â The link above has a whole lot more info.
Anyway, enough of that, here are a few photos:
I also made the hike to Half Dome one morning, and it ranks up there with a few trails – Angel’s Landing in Zion, South Kaibab in the Grand Canyon, and a handful of hikes in the Tetons and Yellowstone – as an all-time epic.Â It’s 7-8 miles and nearly 5,000 vertical feet from the Happy Isles trailhead to the summit.Â The trail passes two massive raging waterfalls (317 ft Vernal Fall and 594 ft Nevada Fall) on the steep, wet Mist Trail, traverses up and around the back side near Little Yosemite Valley, and then makes a final, precipitously exposed ascent up Half Dome with the help of cables installed by the NPS.Â All of these are from my Canon G9 point and shoot, and I rarely convert images to black and white, but I think these turned out quite nice:
I also made the hike to the top of Yosemite Falls, which is the largest waterfall in the US at 2,425 feet, but I’ll save writing about that for another time. Thanks Yosemite, I’ll be back soon.