Capturing Yosemite: The Notes of a Lomo Traveler


“The splendor of Yosemite burst upon us and it was glorious.” These were the immortal words that Ansel Adams wrote when he first visited Yosemite in 1916.

Photo by Ansel Adams
Credits: blueskyandhardrock

Decades later, as I gazed upon the Yosemite Valley and its majestic granite peaks from just outside the Wawona Tunnel, I heard these words in my head as if he’d spoken them to me and knew that they were true. It was indeed GLORIOUS. And it was humbling.

I closed my eyes and I could almost see him with his trusty Kodak Brownie capturing everything with great enthusiasm like I was going to as soon as I finished breathing it all in.

It took me several minutes and a moment of panic I have to admit. The truth was everything there was so arrestingly beautiful that I didn’t know whether to just sit there and consume all of it with my own eyes or start capturing everything on film. It didn’t help that I was standing there along with a hundred or so tourists, oohing and ahhh-ing and clicking away with their digital cameras and camera phones like maniacs.

The valley looked just as pristine and as untouched as it was a hundred years ago. But looks are at times deceiving and I knew that a closer look would prove that Yosemite had become somewhat of a circus in the last few decades. So it was comforting to know that the golden meadows, crystal-clear lakes, and granite mountain tops that had inspired Ansel Adams are still there, existing and inspiring people… inspiring me.

Credits: blueskyandhardrock

My mind was already racing as I tore my attention away from the scene before me and reached for my cameras, which until then were slung over my shoulders forgotten. I was armed with many rolls of film and I wanted to use them all to capture every inch of that place. I wanted to photograph everything and anything! Unfortunately, I was only there for the weekend and that wasn’t enough time to photograph Yosemite’s prominent features, let alone every inch of its 700,000-something acres.

Credits: blueskyandhardrock
Credits: blueskyandhardrock

As I took several shots of the famous Tunnel View, I tried to decide on five things I wanted to do most but it was no use. How could anyone possibly chose when there were hundreds of things to experience and photograph?!

I managed to calm myself down enough to realize that Yosemite had been around for hundreds of years and it will be for a few hundred more. I had time. I could always come back. After all, even the great Ansel Adams had to go back several times before he could capture the perfect shots.

So I stepped back, took a deep breath, and let myself go.

And then I let Yosemite capture me, instead.

Credits: blueskyandhardrock
Credits: blueskyandhardrock

written by blueskyandhardrock on 2012-11-23 in #lifestyle #yosemite #granite #travel #wawona-tunnel #film #tourist #california #kodak-brownie #ansel-adams


  1. -walsh-
    -walsh- ·

    wow, stunning photos!!

  2. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·

    @-walsh- thank you! Hope you enjoyed the article too! xo

  3. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    great article and stunning photos! Congrats for the great work @blueskyandhardrock! :)

  4. stouf
    stouf ·


  5. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·

    @vicuna @stouf thank you, guys! It means a lot coming from two of my personal lomogurus! xo

  6. undiscovered
    undiscovered ·

    What a joy to read! Really nice!

  7. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·

    @undiscovered thank you, you're sweet xo

  8. clickiemcpete
    clickiemcpete ·

    Nice article Michelle, stunning shots and of course, amazing place.

  9. dida
    dida ·

    loved your article! :)

  10. gepo1303
    gepo1303 ·

    Amazoing place indeed. I'm happy I've seen it this year.

  11. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·

    @clickiemcpete @dida thank you my dears! i appreciate your kind words and i'm glad that you enjoyed my article... more to come soon!

  12. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·

    @gepo1303 i'm glad you did! xo

  13. feelux
    feelux ·

    Stunning captures! I myself would love to go there sometime.

  14. elkilla
    elkilla ·

    I love this photos! Great article :D

  15. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·

    @feelux thank you! fly to LA and i will take you! we can camp out there and explore the entire park! ;)
    @elkilla thank you so much! xo

  16. peropero
    peropero ·

    ok so you're taking me there, right?

  17. feelux
    feelux ·

    @blueskyandhardrock sounds great! I'll keep in touch. Hahaha!

  18. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·

    @peropero of course! @feelux make sure that you do!

  19. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·

    grazie, peropero, elkilla, feelux, sobetion, vici, neanderthalis, dida, clickiemcpete, emkei, alana1194, uncle_jay, undiscovered, davidobryan, vicker313, stouf, gorics, vicuna, julea, and -walsh- thank you for your lomo love and support, my dears!

  20. ihave2pillows
    ihave2pillows ·

    What a treat !!

  21. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·

    @ihave2pillows thank you!

  22. stuckintraffic
    stuckintraffic ·

    I just looove this whole article so much! Can't wait to see Yosemite! Next year perhaps!

  23. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·

    @stuckintraffic really? wow, that means a lot! thank you! yes, please go see it for yourself and when you do, try to avoid the touristy spots... those kinda take the magic away! :D

  24. clownshoes
    clownshoes ·


  25. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·

    @clownshoes thank you! xo

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