Last Friday I took a road trip. I went to Yosemite National Park . Got up at 2a.m. on the road by 2:45 a.m. for the long drive. Friday is my only day off. This is the day I take “road trips” to places outside of my local environs to photograph. I knew that a once a year a phenomenon called the “Firefall” would be happening in Yosemite. So I had to go. California had recently had some rain and snowfall so the waterfalls and creeks would be gushing. The main road into the park, Hwy 41 which becomes the Wawona Road, (which is the old Yosemite Stagecoach route) crosses over several creeks. This one is Alder Creek:

Yosemite-Alder Creek

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The road winds through some of the most majestic and awe inspiring mountains you will ever have the good fortune to see. One of the first places you come to on your way down into Yosemite Valley is Tunnel View named because it is at the end of a long tunnel which opens up onto this:

Yosemite-Tunnel View

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This place is epically huge, I had a little time to kill, and I wanted some direction so that I wasn’t wasting time looking so I went to the 24 hour online chat I’m a member of for my Arcanum cohort, Travel Obscura (a group of masterful photographers who support each other) where my friend and Mentor A.D. Wheeler; The Explorographer sent me the Google coordinates for Big Oak Flat Road :

Yosemite: Big Oak FLat Road

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Believe it or not NONE of this incredible awesomeness was what I came for! I came for Horsetail Falls, also known at this time of year (February) as the Firefalls. Only at this time of year the sun sets in exactly the right position for this:

Yosemite- Horsetail Fallss, Firefalls

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I drove 5 1/2 hours each way for this photo. It was hard work. I had a lot of time to think about myself as a photographer. I usually try not to label myself as my ego tends to give me identity trouble, but I wondered about what is a photographer and what is an artist? I don’t know. I hear a LOT of opinions on the subject. The thing that may distinguish me from anyone else that I can see is that I’m willing to do what it takes to get there. In fact I LOVE the doing what it takes! To drive, hike, or climb to position myself for that magical moment. To actually be there, present. To record something that will illicit a response from the viewer. Haplessly grinning in the anticipation of going somewhere outside of my normal limits and totally blissed out to return to my life with something sacred. Not all my photos move me every time I look at them, but some do. This one does. The journey is so worth it. The journey really IS the destination.

In Gratitude,

Until next time