Diego McCartney

Photographer & Musician

Thoughts From The Road and Landscape Photography #3

Location: Sequoia National Park

“Only One Image”

Sometimes you have great days. Days where there seems to be one win after another. Image after image. You feel more and more inspired after every composition you find. You and the sun become one, and it rewards you with a colorful fantastic sunset or sunrise. My day in Sequoia National Park was not that kind of day. How can I feel so low? When I’m such a beautiful place. My journey to Sequoia National Park was a sporadic decision after wrapping up a one day workshop in Yosemite. It’s only a four hour drive south from Yosemite, but along the way you will drive thru winding roads and what seems like never ending turns. I was running on about 6 hours of sleep in the past 48 hours, but I wanted to continue and push it just a little further. My time in California would soon be over. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park are truly one my favorites. This National Park is so well organized and very easy to navigate around. It certainly feels a lot more “out there” and somewhat cut off from any major town or city. After battling some construction traffic on our way to the park entrance, we finally made it. I knew I had about 4 hours left of light until sunset. I wanted to visit Grant Grove just to sight see, as this is perhaps my favorite grove of all. Given the lighting conditions and the time of day, I didn’t bother bringing my camera along on this small trail. Similar to the Redwood’s in North West California, the Sequoia trees in the Sierra’s leave you in absolute awe. Capturing their size and beauty is not an easy task. As the sun began to die down, I decided on visiting the General Sherman tree. Perhaps I could find an intimate composition. I was fortunate to find a side of the tree trail where there were no people. The General Sherman Tree is the biggest single living stem tree on earth. That’s just mind blowing! The bottom of the tree trunk has a lot of personality and shape. I focused in on that and took my image. I was quite pleased with the result, and I knew that was it for the day. The lighting conditions just weren’t there, and I kept thinking why go for more obvious compositions that have been photographed so many times. I don’t usually have this mentality, but the sleep deprivation was having an impact on my overall outlook and mood. I decided to have one last quick wonder around the Congress Tree Trail. I didn’t hike very far, as it was almost dark. I think what was making me most upset is that I knew I had pushed myself to much. Perhaps my goal of trying to visit countless National Parks all in one week was counter productive. How many images in total had I really considered to be “Great”. Luckily as I approached my car I was able to snap out of this mindset and focus on just being grateful for being present and in the company of such amazing nature. It’s easy to let those negative thoughts and feelings run wild. My time in California was far from a waisted time. I’ll be back soon.

ISO 100 73mm F11 0.5 secs

Check out the episode from Sequoia National Park. 

 

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