Worth Getting Muddy...

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Mark², Apr 17, 2006.

  1. Mark²

    Mark² Guest


    Last week in Yosemite.
    After 4 days making trips into the park, the rain (and snow) finally stopped
    and the sun broke through...

    I'm happy to say that this ISN'T a shot "everyone takes," since this meadow
    isn't usually flooded...and I was the only person in 4 days that was willing
    to wade out into the temporary pond with my tripod.
    ....and yes--as a matter of fact...the underwater prairie grass really was
    that bright.

    Mark², Apr 17, 2006
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  2. Mark²

    Frank ess Guest

    A beauty!
    Frank ess, Apr 17, 2006
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  3. Mark²

    Colin D Guest

    A beautiful shot!

    Colin D.
    Colin D, Apr 17, 2006
  4. Mark²

    Paul Furman Guest

    Well done!
    Paul Furman, Apr 17, 2006
  5. Mark²

    wsrphoto Guest

    Nice photo but doesn't the Park have rules on distrubing ponds and
    meadows? There usually are rules to stay on the trails and don't go off
    the trail in sensitive areas, especially meadows flooded or dry. Did
    you read the rules or inquire with the rangers when you got your
    permit? I'm all for getting the best photograph, but not at the expense
    of nature or breaking NPS rules.
    wsrphoto, Apr 17, 2006
  6. Mark²

    Mark² Guest


    I didn't break any rules, and no...it was not a forbidden area in any way.
    There were two other people with cameras (one with a tripod) on the field of
    mostly-dead grass. I was just the only one willing to get wet in effort for
    what I saw as THE shot. The rest of the field was wet...just not submerged.

    There ARE a few areas in Yosemite that are marked as "revegitation," or some
    such wording...where it is suggested that you stay off. This meadow wasn't
    one of them. In fact, Yosemite is a notably UNregulated area in terms of
    hiking, etc. While there are some designated trails, one can backpack all
    over the place (as I have done in the past at length). Hikers are indeed
    warned that they risk death if they continue in certain obvious areas, but
    you are not forbidden from continuing. People are allowed to die quite
    frequently, which I think (aside from the tragedy of death) is great.
    Freedom sometimes means danger to ones self, and I say there are very
    positive aspects of that kind of freedom.

    As for Rangers thoughts on my position... Several Rangers were parked
    within very close sight of me for some time (apparently taking a break or
    something), and others drove by numerous times. I was out there for over an
    hour, and they not only didn't say anything to me, but they didn't appear to
    care one wit.

    Thankfully, Yosemite...although it is indeed highly regulated in terms of
    traffic, parking, etc....has not fallen prey to ridiculous levels of
    OVERprotection. They clearly understand that nature should be enjoyed,
    photographed, hiked through, slept on, and generally experienced.

    The only time I saw them ask anyone to move out of an area was when a group
    of young people had taken four large, ugly, orange cones...and set up a
    baseball game in the middle of one of the more picturesque fields. A ranger
    very politely walked out...shook their hands...and asked them to stop (Duh).

    Like you, I also believe in responsible use and enjoyment of nature.
    -But I also believe that one should not SEEK to restrict it for
    restriction's sake, or look for fault in those who have figured out ways to
    share nature's beauty with those who can't experience it first hand for
    themselves (photos).

    As for disturbing the pond/valley/park... Perhaps you'll recall the huge
    flood in the 90's that submerged the entire valley under about 10 feet of
    water? Was the park service so dumb as to assume that it was somehow a
    "good" and "natural" thing? No. They made extensive repairs and have put
    it back into shape. The only indication that a flood occurred now is found
    on the two or three tall signs...which indicate the amazing level the water
    rose to in that event.

    I think that sometimes those who *live* to "protect the Earth" sometimes
    need to take a step back and remember that in order for the masses to get
    behind the concept of protection...it is necessary to allow people to
    actually experience it...without always being harrassed into submissive
    exodus...by those whose protective sense flies in the face of common sense.

    When you allow people access to nature within reasonably permissive limits,
    I find that two things happen:
    1: Overprotective types discover and recognise that nature is far more
    resilient than some would have you believe...
    2: That those who might otherwise adopt a careless attitude toward natural
    resources (due to lack of access and experience) begin to not only enjoy
    it...but also value it as they discover its wonders up close--rather than
    from behind a chain, wall, or fence. Although there are certainly
    reasonable cause for barriers in some cases, I believe that without personal
    experience with nature, its pretty tough to convince people of its worth. A
    lack of experience works against BOTH sides. Half of the inexperienced fall
    into the mindlessly overprotective and robotic reactionary stance...where
    all humanity is a profain threat to the planet...while the other half
    becomes similarly and hopeless ignorant in an opposite reaction that leads
    to foolish waste and disregard for natural beauty and resources.

    We don't need mindless armies on EITHER side of this coin. We need a
    balanced, reasonably careful, but reasonably permissive stance. Short of
    this, and we risk alienation from nature, and the disregarded and/or
    oppositional postures that result from the two extremes.

    Your concern is duly noted (and please note that I am quite unaware of the
    details of your complete, personal feelings on the larger issues), but your
    particular concern over my photography is not shared by the very informed,
    very protective and entirely in-the-know folks who are charged with the care
    and keeping of Yosemite Valley.
    -And I say AMEN to that.

    Mark², Apr 18, 2006
  7. Mark²

    Paul Furman Guest

    Muir Woods is one of those places where it's specifically prohibited to
    leave the paths, that's understandable given that the main valley is
    rather small & they get a huge number of visitors. Many other state
    parks & such near urban centers have those signs. Yosemite valley is
    pretty big though. It would take a lot of fence to regulate. Muir woods
    has real nice fences and trail system.

    Personally I like going to the less polular parks & doing a lot of
    bushwhacking off trail. I was mushing through poison oak this morning in

    : - )
    Paul Furman, Apr 18, 2006
  8. Mark²

    Mark² Guest

    Ya...unfortunately, my wife has a nice patch of poison oak on her neck from
    this trip... :(
    I didn't notice any poison oak, but she did...and still manage to get some
    on her. I suspect she brushed it with her pants...touched her pant
    leg...and then her neck... Ugly.

    One thing that made this particular Yosemite trip absolutely fantastic was
    the crummy weather.
    Crummy (and even treacherous) weather meant I saw the smallest number of
    visitors in the park of any time in 30 years that I've visited. It was
    great...even in heavy downpour. We were cold, soaked, and having a great
    time enjoying an aspect of the park most people never venture into or stick
    around for... -The messy side. It was beautifully messy. :) So messy, in
    fact, that pictures were often out of the question (blowing, huge snow
    clumps, blowing rain, and slippery...chains-required roads).

    Generally I agree with you and your preference for more uninhabited areas.
    I used to backpack every summer in the Minerets Wilderness (now called Ansel
    Adams Wilderness). It is a large region that connects to the south-east
    border of Yosemite. I've been backpacking for 9 days there where I have not
    seen a SINGLE other person. Love it. Great fishing...lonely trails that
    are often hard to see...and pictures everywhere you look. I'm hoping to go
    packing there again this summer after a 10 year absence.
    Mark², Apr 18, 2006
  9. Hikers are indeed
    The park police carry Uzi's just for this purpose.....:^)
    William Graham, Apr 18, 2006
  10. Mark²

    wsrphoto Guest

    My concern wasn't about your photography, it is a good photo. I hike in
    Mt. Rainier NP and it is extensively controlled including the
    backcountry areas, and fairly well overseen by rangers. And I used to
    camp and hike in Yosemite in the early 1970's, long before the need for
    regulation. I was only asking out of curiosity as I've seen tourists
    and photographers ignore rules "to get the photo." Thanks for the
    explanation, albeit presumptive my knowledge, experience, perspective
    and concern.
    wsrphoto, Apr 18, 2006
  11. Mark²

    Mark² Guest

    True...which is why I included:
    "(and please note that I am quite unaware of the
    details of your complete, personal feelings on the larger issues)"
    My rant was really a result...not so much for your comments alone..but the
    collective reactionary types that I've observed in the past. I didn't mean
    to point at you in particular, but your post prompted me a bit...
    Mark², Apr 18, 2006
  12. Mark²

    Paul Furman Guest

    Blessed be mud.

    Fortunately I'm almost immune to poison oak.
    Paul Furman, Apr 19, 2006
  13. Butiful Shot!
    Amen- Leave only footprints.
    Rusty Shakleford, Apr 20, 2006
  14. Mark²

    Robert Brace Guest

    Well said & spot on!
    Outstanding photo, by the way.
    Robert Brace, Apr 21, 2006
  15. Mark²

    Annika1980 Guest

    Nice job. You're a regular Anal Adams.

    I really like that pic. I might like it even better if you lightened
    up the water and strengthened the reflection a bit. I'd like to go to
    Yosemite some day.
    Annika1980, Apr 21, 2006
  16. Annika1980 wrote
    (in article
    What if they don't let you lighten up the water and strengthen
    the reflection while you are there?

    Oh, it's okay to see it as is? Then it's okay to see a photo
    that was as well.
    Lefty Bigfoot, Apr 21, 2006
  17. Mark²

    Mark² Guest

    I thought about that while standing there with a polarizer.
    I chose to allow the underwater detail to remain partially visible because I
    thought it not only looked interesting, but also helped illustrate the fact
    that it was a temporary pond.

    I really should have shot it both ways, but the span of great-light-time was
    literally a matter of *seconds* only.
    Early Spring is best IMO. Waterfalls are most active, and snow adds a lot
    to an image (so long as it's late or early light--meaning not blown out).
    Stay away in the summer time.
    -Too crowded.
    Mark², Apr 22, 2006
  18. Mark²

    Annika1980 Guest

    What if they don't let you lighten up the water and strengthen
    Ah, the purist approach.
    I wrote a nice, lucid response to this comment but my internet
    connection went out as I was posting it so I lost it.
    Rather than re-type it all, I'll simply sum it up thusly:

    Ansel Adams says hi.

    Some of the points I made (as I remember them):
    1. No medium captures an event exactly as the eye sees it.
    2. It's up to the artist (photographer) to determine the look he wants
    to present.
    3. The famous photos we see of Yosemite from Ansel Adams were heavily
    manipulated in the darkroom. If you saw his originals you'd be less
    than impressed.
    4. Mark's photo is perfectly fine as it is. I might have processed it
    differently and someone else might make different decisions. That's
    where the "art" comes in.
    5. With slides you're stuck with what you shot.
    6. With prints from print film you're stuck with what the processor
    gives you.
    7. With digital you are in charge.
    Annika1980, Apr 22, 2006
  19. Annika1980 wrote
    (in article
    Let me guess, you think you're a better photographer than he
    I'm more impressed with the worst photo I ever saw from his
    camera than I am with any of the drivel you've been showing of
    late. A computer doesn't save a bad eye from bad photographs,
    although it can correct flaws in a well composed image.
    Of course it is. He should be selling it instead of giving it
    away on the net. If he sent it into one of those magazine
    contests he'd win for sure.
    No question about that.
    I guess you are not aware that slides can be scanned.
    I guess you are not aware that print film negatives can be
    scanned either.
    And we've seen how that isn't nearly enough to save bad images.
    Lefty Bigfoot, Apr 22, 2006
  20. Mark²

    Alan Browne Guest

    Only counts if you lugged a 4x5 or 8x10. Sorry.

    ( <g> )

    Good shot.

    Alan Browne, Apr 22, 2006
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