100 Days of National Parks: Day 27 – El Capitan, Yosemite

El Capitan

El Capitan
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There’s something about the granite walls of the Yosemite Valley that make it ideally suited to black and white photography.  Perhaps its the association with the works of Ansel Adams, my first introduction to the park, or the way the cracks and crevices in the rough-hewn rock accentuate even the smallest shadow.  Whatever it is, I find myself fighting the urge to shoot everything in black and white when I’m in Yosemite, and it’s a matter of willpower to find elements of color in many cases to force myself to highlight them.

When it comes to the massive edifice of El Capitan, however, there’s no better way to capture it’s imposing facade than by stripping the distractions of color and letting it loom. I continually marvel at the fact that people climb this massive rock wall, as its surface seems entirely devoid of hand holds or any form of reasonable place to grab onto.  The sheer face of the mountain is daunting, unrelenting in its dominance of the surrounding terrain.

Along with Half Dome, it’s one of the more recognizable landmarks in the Park, but even with its near over-saturation in images from Yosemite, I still find this imposing rock wall to be one of the more inspiring and mind-boggling sights in the whole Park.  Every time I pass through the park, I take it as a personal challenge to find some new way to represent this mountain, some way to capture its enormity and impressiveness.  I haven’t found the perfect shot yet, but I will some day.


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