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Yosemite and Me

My relationship with Yosemite doesn’t have a beginning or end. Rather, it’s a collection of asynchronous memories that I’m still forming. Some of my Yosemite experience predates my memory. The earliest memories, like following bobbing flashlights to Camp Curry to watch the Firefall, or warm evenings in lawn chairs at the garbage dump, waiting for the bears to come to dinner, are part of the glue that bonds my family.

As I grew older, I started creating my own memories. Exploring Yosemite’s backcountry, I reclined beside gem-like lakes in granite basins, drank from streams that started the day as snow, and slept beneath an infinite canopy of stars. And all this to a continuous soundtrack of wind and water.

Not coincidentally, I became a nature photographer. Now every Yosemite trip includes a camera to help me capture and convey the essence of this special place. In the last 25 years my camera and I have returned more times than I can count, sometimes leaving home in the morning and returning that night, seven hours of driving for a six hour fix. But it’s never work.

Of course I’ve seen lots of change as my Yosemite memories accumulate. The bears have been banished to the most remote corners of the park (with moderate success), the Firefall has been extinguished, and backpacking requires water purifiers and bear canisters. But the soaring granite and plummeting waterfalls are magnificent constants, an unchanging backdrop for Yosemite’s infinite combination of season, weather, and light.

My relationship with Yosemite doesn’t have a beginning or end. Rather, it’s a collection of asynchronous memories that I’m still forming.

Despite this magnificence, it’s hard to visit Yosemite without lamenting the crowds—or the “improvements” designed to accommodate the crowds. One recent Fourth of July weekend I foolishly tried to add a circumnavigation of Yosemite Valley to a trip from Glacier Point to Tuolumne Meadows. Motionless in traffic for 45 minutes, I calmed myself with a reminder that Yosemite’s crowds are really just a collection of individuals like me, establishing or reconnecting with their own relationship.

In that vein, my objective for this site is twofold: First, I want to share Yosemite’s splendor with the unfortunate many who don’t live within easy driving distance. And second, I want to help those who do visit, leave with photographs that match their memories.

On my portfolio pages I’ve tried to assemble a diverse collection of favorite Yosemite images. This is a dynamic site that I update frequently update. If you can't find an image you're looking for, please contact me. And by all means, if you like what you see, share it with others.

Thanks for visiting.

Gary

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Thank you for a perfect workshop. Totally perfect. It was just incredible, all of it.

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Your workshop was the most enjoyable, informative and enlightening experience I've had in the many years that I've been taking pictures.

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