Oak and Merced river / Yosemite National Park
Toyo 45AII / Kodak Tmax 100 ISO
A lonely oak once caught the eye of Master Photographer Ansel Adams
as he drove past it over the years. It was almost like the tree spoke to him as he drove past it year after year until one day he pulled over and photographed it with his large format view camera. His original image of this Oak was photographed in the 50's and became one of his many collected images.
Photographing the Merced and trees has always been a love of mine and during a cool crisp fall morning, I stumbled upon this Oak and recognized it immediately. As I stood there paralyzed with excitement, the thought of Ansel came to my mind as the sounds of the Merced drifted by my feet. I couldn't help but feel so connected at this moment with not only the land beneath my feet, the smell of the trees as the wind drifted across my face, the Merced as it trickled it's way down stream, and the image drifting within my mind how Ansels experience was sum 65 years before me.
Knowing I had some time before the sun washed out the shot, I sat next to this "hidden jewel" on a granite boulder and became one with the land. Shortly after, I assembled my large format camera and captured this image.
Over the years, I've often stopped at this spot to check on this hidden jewel and see how she's doing .... It will always remain one of my favorite experiences within the park.