"Why? I thought you wanted to see the Half Dome?"
"I do," as I fumbled getting my gear organized, "however, look at the surface of that rock—it's amazing!"
The reply back came with the usual patient tone found in these re-occuring situations my significant other has come to know when living with a photographer, however this time it came with a salute, "Yes sir, El Capitan!"
As I stepped out into the warmth of the day my eyes were glued to the Southwest face of El Capitan stoically standing in California's Yosemite National Park. This made sense, since being an abstract photographer/artist, I never get tired of nature's abstract beauty that I often see in granite, and El Capitan wasn't about to let me down—all 7,569 feet (2,307 metres) of it, or should I say, specifically the area that my camera and I were focused on.
You see, as others gathered around a very popular couple, who were kind enough to share their telescope by pointing out rock climbers, I was pointing my lens in another direction. Why? Well, being a hiker, I've seen other cliffs in the wilderness scaled by climbers, and while I salute anyone who is brave enough to challenge their wits in this manner,
I was totally taken by the lines of black lichen dripping down the brown granite. This was very unusual for me. I just couldn't get over how it was giving me the impression that the sky had opened up one morning and accidently spilt a can of black oil paint from the heavens. Every little crevice absorbed the essence, like canvas, as it made it's way down towards the base. If I was a climber, I would have scaled this monolith just to find the artist's signature and confirm once and for all who is responsible for such incredible abstract art.
"Ready to carry on?"
"Yes. No. Yes. You know how it is."
Oh, you want to know how it is? Why do I sound unsure? Well, okay, let's just say that when you work in the field, you always have one set of fingers crossed hoping that you captured exactly what you were experiencing and wish to share, because there is no re-shoot until the next time you pass these trails again. But, I will tell you one thing I am sure of and that is how much I respect Ansel Adams and the challenges he must have encountered treking through this valley with his cumbersome equipment. Thanks to photographers like him who paved the wild trails of photography, I now stand in the same valley he did with much more ease to create my artwork and for that, I salute you El Capitan Adams...