This is one of the more startling photos I ever took, and I did not notice it until after the slides were processed. I was at Inspiration Point overlooking the Yosemite Valley watching the colors in the valley shift as the day drew to a close. I had recently purchased on eBay an 1000mm lens for my 35mm camera. I decided to try it out on El Capitan, the impressive monolith that dominates the left-hand side of most images taken from that vantage. I liked how the granite face glowed golden and how the ridge between us and the rock face was silhouetted against the light. Indeed, for scale comparisons, if you look closely at the little jutting piece just above where the gold on the face, the ridge line and the shadow cast on El Capitan meet, you can see what would normally be a large tree. It is a mere speck in this image.
I took a few shots and went back to a more normal angle of view for the rest of the day. It was only when I looked at the processed transparencies that I noticed the rich, blue shadows cast by the ridge onto El Capitan. It absolutely floored me in its intensity and has become a favorite image of mine.
This is the uncropped version. I have a large print of this in a square-cropped format hanging above the familyroom fireplace at home. It is one of the more abstract images I have ever shot, yet I find it very tranquil. It definitely opened up a new way of looking at things for me, which I've tried to explore since then.
"Salt River Cliffs" ©
5 months ago