#TravelTuesday Yosemite and the problem of Scale

Back in April of 2011 my wife and I traveled to Yosemite National Park. The trip itself was plagued with challenges and disappointments, but that’s a story for another time. What I want to discuss is the problem of scale in photography. We had one beautiful day in the park, and it was spectacular. I was very excited about the pictures I was taking. All I had to do was stand in one position, click, turn, click, turn some more, click ,and every view was astonishing.

Upon my return, showing the picture to family and friends, the pictures were received with “pretty” “cool” and “neat”. It was as if the cornucopia of adjectives in the English language had suddenly disappeared, and I was left wondering why, this place, that had made such an impression on me, was merely humdrum to everyone looking at my pictures.

Every time I would show the pictures I would keep saying “You HAVE to go. I can’t describe it, you have to see it for yourself.” Then I realized, they were looking at pretty pictures, NOT at Yosemite. I had failed to bring viewers to this place of wonder who’s scale and grandeur had left me speechless. This is a difficult challenge in photography as with any art, but I learn, and I think more about how to overcome that now.

Example: The picture below is of the lower section of Yosemite Falls. The Falls are truly grand in their size. It’s only when you find the photographer in the picture that you can image how huge they really are.

You Have to go!

This is 9 images joined together in Photoshop

Canon HF20

Image not for sale