Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dewey Point

There's an online magazine I admire called PHOTOGRAPH which is published quarterly by David duChemin who happens to be a photographer I also admire. This magazine takes advantage of the fact that, being in the pdf format, it can pretty much publish as many photographs as it wants and not really have to worry about production costs (okay, having done my share of layout and design over the years, I know that's a production cost, too, but I'm talking about printing up an expensive truckload of magazines not knowing if they'll all sell or not). So, it's a beautiful publication that really shows the breadth of its featured photographers' work.

Therefore, I was delighted to learn a photograph of mine is being featured in the latest issue, #8, in what they're calling the "Final Frame" (the second-to-last page). Here's a link to the magazine. It costs eight bucks, by the way.

As for the picture itself, I took it at Dewey Point in Yosemite on a cold winter evening. Gloria and I had backpacked into this spot on snowshoes after a heavy snowfall, and were set up about a hundred feet from where I stood to take this shot. I have to admit I wasn't especially motivated to leave the semi-warm tent to go out as the sun was setting. In fact, I was lightly snoozing when Gloria pointed out that the sun was setting fast and there was color in the sky. I guess the thing about photography is there are times when the desire to potentially do something special runs up against the competing desire to be comfortable, and it takes a little effort and self-bullying to run out into the sub-freezing air just for a stupid picture. Of course, I managed to shame myself into wiggling out of my sleeping bag, put on my down parka, strap on my snowshoes and trudge out to the Point. And there was this magnificent sunset, made more special by how the light and dark clouds were framing these trees on the ridge top. For anyone who cares, it was shot with a Canon 5D MII, 28-70mm lens set at 70mm, f/9.5 and a shutter speed of 1/90. The camera was on a Gitzo tripod.

I also included a few other shots from the trip, just to show how incredibly beautiful the Yosemite high country is in the winter and well worth the effort to get out there, even if you have to freeze your ass off to do so.

Sunset, Dewey Point
Summit Meadow
Our camp under the light of the full moon.
El Capitan from Dewey Point.

Gloria and me on Dewey Point.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bonita Canyon

There's nothing better, in my humble opinion, than rappelling down a long, gushing waterfall on a hot summer day. Cheap thrills, water and sun. Ah, life is good. So Bonita Canyon in the Lytle Creek area of the San Bernardino Mountains should be perfect. It has two monster waterfalls and even in Southern California's current drought, there was plenty of agua pouring out of some unknown source.

So I don't want to complain too much about the fact that this is also a place visited by many who have the moronic ethic of leaving their trash wherever they sit instead of carrying it out and tagging the rocks and trees with their idiotic, coded names. Assholes.

Okay, I'm grumpy when I have spray-painted boulders in my pictures instead of pristine canyon locations. Sue me.

As for the trip, our de facto leader, Rich, had been there before with Kevin and they reported that the usual approach up a steep ridge was a bit sketchy in places so we would try a different route on the opposite side of the ridge. It's no fault of Rich's but this didn't exactly work out well and two of our bunch got pretty scratched up in the cat's claw and manzanita. Next time, we'll do the usual path with all its loose rock and occasional exposure. And there will be a next time, I'm sure. The water, sun and cheap thrills were too good. Even good enough to override the graffiti.

Jerri and Kevin making their way through the boulders at the beginning of the approach.
Annette and Rich scrambling up the steep use trail we found. Hand-over-hand the whole way.
Jerri working her way down the first waterfall, a 190-foot rappel.
Annette on the first waterfall getting totally dunked. Fun.
Kevin maneuvering through a deep groove in the falls.
Jerri, post-dunking.

Annette, post-dunking and looking ready to charge off for the next rappel.
With all the non-canyoneering visitors here, apparently someone thought a chain for a rappel anchor was a better idea. It's certainly sturdy. That's my caribiner which I've hooked into the anchor for safety. We color-coded our 'biners with electrical tape so they wouldn't get mixed up and I had some brown tape laying around, so I used that.
Rich exulting in the falls. That guy loves the water.
Jerri on the second waterfall and final rappel just as the sun reached over the top of the falls.

Annette with an audience of on-lookers. Note the graffiti everywhere. Also note that none of the people in the picture were responsible for the tagging.

Kevin checking out the route below him on the second waterfall.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Imaginary Accidents, part 2

More road trip pictures where the theme is simple: the implied scene of an accident or near accident. Fill in the rest yourself.

Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road

Meteor Crater Road

Highway 14

Highway 14