Yosemite Calls

I first saw Yosemite in my early thirties. I arrived late at night with a boisterous crew. We made camp under large trees. They blocked the light from the moon and the stars. Darkness was complete. I saw nothing. I knew nothing beyond my meager cone of light. Then I slept. When I woke, I was utterly astonished. Actually, that word is too puny. It was more like rapture, except that word is too flabby. My reaction was coarse, visceral, and lightning fast. Holy fuck, I whispered. Holy fucking shit. I stopped breathing. I gazed in wonder and disbelief. I’d never seen anything like it. I won’t attempt to describe what I saw. But I will share some images I recently made while I was at Yosemite with my family on fall break.

Two Half Domes make a whole. Or, art makes the world whole. Yes, I like the sound of that, even though it’s only half true.

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Not even a language barrier got in our way. The man fussed with a tripod, then ran to his bride. He did this many times before I smiled and pointed, Here, I said without a word. They understood. They stepped where I’d pointed. They smiled back. Then I flourished my hand across my face, and the man’s hand followed suit. Her smile makes me indescribably happy.

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After the couple left, I waited for the light to mellow out. It did. And the chapel played peek-a-boo behind the trees.

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This is my wife. She has eyes like exotic insects. She’s doing what I did when I first beheld the granite walls of Yosemite. Gazing, raptly.

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Alex Honnold immortalized himself on this massive chunk of granite in Free Solo. Although the image is nice after a fashion, it’s basically false, because it doesn’t adequately communicate the sheer scale of the rock. Not even close.

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Here’s a stone bridge over the Merced river with drifting smoke from camp fires.

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Sometimes reflections are more real than the things themselves.

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I worked hard for this last image, fighting off other heathen photographers. Half Dome at twilight. It has the right balance of magic and realism that produces that holy-fucking-shit moment I had in my thirties when I woke up to a new world on the valley floor. I added a lot of grain to prevent color banding. But the high-res version of the image is fantastic and will print beautifully. If you’re interested in a copy, give me a shout. I’ll be doing a large print run soon.

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The Autumn of Our Content

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October, 2019.
McClellan Ranch, Cupertino, CA.
Autumn colors; blue sky, hazy.
Family mini sessions all day Sunday.
Too many great images to share.
But one stands out right now.
I stare and stare at it.
I know it’s not the greatest image ever taken.
But I secretly believe it is.
Photographers are strange that way.
The boys were pure energy when they arrived.
Scripted shots weren’t going to work.
So I threw mental choreography to the wind.
Instead, we walked and talked.
We laughed and poked fun at each other.
We discovered Sycamore leaves as large as Texas
And unearthed golf balls along the creek.
The shadows lengthened slowly.
My camera clicked without a set purpose in mind.
When the session was over, we walked back to the parking lot.
I said to the boys, Post up here, yeah, just like that.
Energy spent, they posted on the fence, relaxed and languid.
In that moment, I captured something real and enduring, I hope.
The image says something about the passage of time—
Of days, seasons, and childhood—
And it says something about brotherhood, too.
I hope you like the image as much as I do!
As always, thank you for visiting.

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Light In August

Last August, my buddies and I backpacked at Point Reyes. We walked and talked and sipped tequila and bourbon in the evening. On this particular outing, I paid close attention to light and its patterns on grass, trails, webs, and the forest floor.

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That last image above is my favorite from the set. Hope you enjoyed.

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Simply Lucy

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Lucy.
Freckles, yes.
Nose ring and earrings, great.
But eyes, always eyes.
Oh, and strength and beauty
And a head swarming with ideas.
Time to front the world.
Go, Lucy, go!

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Capturing Worlds

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Meet Esther Duterte.
She is the founder of Talent Hound.
An agency that delivers recruiting services with a genuine H2H touch.
Esther hired me to create photos for use on the agency’s Home and About pages.
It’s always gratifying to make images of business pros in urban landscapes.
Away from backdrops, gray, black, or otherwise.
Away from strobes and speed lights, from cubicles and offices.
But still right in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Yes, very gratifying, indeed.

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Eye of the Beholder

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Details are in the eye of the beholder.
When I cover corporate events, I love going small.
Arresting details can be found in the most surprising places.

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Flower Girl

Before she arrives on the scene…

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…a whole lot of things have to happen.
Like this, that, and the other.

Oh, and the other other.

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Then and only then does she appear as though fated.

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Which is why families—every family—is sweet.

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