So I've finally returned from Yosemite. What an amazing place. If you've ever been to Chicago, you've seen the Sears Tower in person. Take the Sears Tower and stack two and a half of them on top of each other (not including antennae), and there you'd have the height of El Capitan — 3,593 feet of vertical granite! Combine this with waterfalls (albeit dried-up waterfalls given my visit being in October), Half-Dome, vast landscapes, and some of the most beautiful patches of forest I've ever layed eyes on, and you have one awe-inspiring place. Needless to say, I loved it.
I took quite a few pictures. By that I mean roughly 40, which averages a whopping 8 per day of shooting/field work.
I learned a ton — how film works, what film curves look like and how they behave in the field as well as darkroom, how to pre-expose for greater shadow detail (the course was concentrated on black and white), how to more effectively use camera movements to establish the plane of focus, how to shoot with my Polaroid gadget, how to dodge, how to burn, how to print more effectively with a traditional enlarger using transparency filters developed in Photoshop; I even processed my own film on a Jobo machine with varying development times to elevate highlights. I also discovered that Pentax Digital Spotmeters can survive splashing into streams and that falling lenses are drawn toward rocks (this is a fundamental rule of physics known only to photographers).
Next item on the list is to secure an Epson 4870 scanner to get these negatives in digital format — I've already decided that at least for now I'll be outputting digitally. Someday maybe I'll go through the whole traditional she-bang and buy an enlarger, lens, etc.; but for now, that route is just too expensive. My third option is to nail down a community darkroom somewhere. Either way, I plan to try to display my work at a few local galleries in the near future. Best way to justify expenditure is to get it to pay for itself! Not that I don't do it for its own sake . . .
The only bummer of the trip was the lack of clouds in the sky. One evening we did have a few, but only for a couple hours, during which time I snapped my best broad landscapes of the trip with my camera pointed east into Yosemite Valley from a spot off the road called "Valley View." Excited to see what those shots look like as positives (all I can do for now is gaze at them through a loupe as negs).
Scripture of the morning, from Galatians 2:
17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
No man, having applied himself to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Rhetorical question of the morning: Is it wrong of me to desperately want to retire before 59-1/2?