Last year, I headed up to Yosemite on Halloween for several reasons. First, I knew that there would still be some color in the valley as many of the Oaks and Cottonwoods hold on to their leaves into November. Secondly, the first Winter storm of the year was due to roll in. Lastly, the road to Glacier Point was still open, but it was due to close for the season as soon as that storm blew in. With the promise of colorful leaves in the valley along with some shots of new snow on the surrounding peaks, I took off with high hopes.
Some of you may be surprised to learn that I have been directing choirs in the Southern California area for nearly 30 years. I have spent a good part of my life practicing on instruments, learning to read music, singing in various choirs, and eventually earning a Bachelors and a Masters in Choral Conducting. There was a time, in the not too distant past, when I was convinced that I would continue to teach until well into my seventies as many of my colleagues have done and are continuing to do. I have been very fortunate over the past three decades or so to have had a job that I love and look forward to going to each day. But in 2006, I picked up a Nikon DSLR camera for the first time and suddenly I found myself considering a second, part time career . It was the first time I held a decent camera in my hands since shooting landscapes with a Canon AE-1 after I had just graduated from high school. For the next three or four years, I shot everything. Portraits, street photography, macro…it didn’t matter. I just wanted to get out with my camera whenever I had a chance. In 2009, I took my camera to Yosemite and to Laguna Beach for the first time, and began to realize that my true passion in photography was landscapes.