Photographing The Natural World

Archive for June, 2017

National Geographic photo contests; enter at your own risk

(6/1/17) Sounds crazy that you should fear the icon of all photography, National Geographic.  Yet, having entered the contests from NG many times, I am beginning to regret it.  The shots I enter seem to appear all over the internet.  I have seen my shots all over Pinterest, SmugMug, and the plethora of web sites that feature “quality images available for download as desktop images”.  Obviously without permission from me.

I did a Google image search and found several pages of results with my image being used over and over like this.  No commercial use has been found yet, which I suppose should make me feel better, but I fear it’s just a case of my not having found it yet.

So, enter a Nat Geo photo contest at your own risk.


Yosemite: Run Away!

(6/1/17) You are no doubt aware that California had a record rainfall and snow accumulation this year, and as a result, the snowmelt and waterfalls will be epic.  Such is the case now, as all waterfalls and some we haven’t seen in years are gushing.  The park is green, work has been completed on the new road configuration in the east end of the valley (a rare work of genius from the park service), and clueless new seasonal employees are in place.

Sounds wonderful.

Run Away!

The day trippers will be in full force, stampeding into the place on weekends like never before. Everywhere I go in Fresno, people ask “How are the waterfalls? We’re planning to go up this weekend!”  Folks who were born and raised in Fresno and have teenage children are, for the first time, planning trips.  They will leisurely pack the car and head up arriving in mid-morning to a traffic jam that would make Los Angeles blush. Hordes of uninitiated idiots will be surging in and white-knuckling their way into the valley.  It will take 3 hours to go the seven miles from the Bridalveil parking lot to day parking lot in the east end of the valley.  The park service, in it’s infinite wisdom is shutting down one lane of southside road for busses and emergency traffic.  You cannot imagine the traffic jam this will cause.  DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!

You have been warned: Do Not go to Yosemite this weekend.

Now, if you insist, here’s how to avoid the unwashed masses:

  1. Arrive at 7am, park and take the shuttle busses to get around.
  2. Arrive at 7am, see the valley in one hour then head to Glacier Point Road and stay up there. Hike those trails, see Glacier Point, Washburn Point, Sentinel Dome, Taft Point, Mono Meadow, etc.  Go for the Big View.  Taft Point is incredible.  So is Sentinel Dome, especially at sunset.  Glacier Point will be overrun, so try Washburn Point.  It’s easy to get away from the hordes, although there will be people wherever you go.  But you won’t be overrun.
  3. Bring infinite amounts of patience for fools.

Stay away from the village between 9am and 6pm.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!