Land of Giants

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Last Thursday the family and I took a much needed break from life and headed to the hills; literally. We camped for 4 days along Lee Vining Creek, just outside of Yosemite’s Eastern entrance. There’s something very relaxing about unplugging and just being outside. The only caveat is that the more I do it, the less I want to go back to the daily grind.

On family trips to Yosemite we have a tradition that is dubiously referred to as “the death hike.” It always starts out innocently enough. A destination is chosen and we head out. Once we get started, we start adding destinations that are “just a little further.” What starts out as a quick 2 mile hike often ends up being 8-10 miles.  This image was taken near the end of one such death hike. Although tiring, the destination nearly always makes up for the fatigue. That was certainly the case last Friday.

After starting in Tuolumne meadows, not far from [wikipop]Pothole Dome[/wikipop], we headed to Soda Springs. From there we hiked up to Dog Lake for lunch and then off to Lembert Dome, where this image was taken. From [wikipop]Lembert Dome[/wikipop], we took the “wrong” trail down and ended up having to walk another two miles down highway 120 to get back to the car. Total damage 8.5 miles.  Perfect.

This turned out to be a fun image. Pictured, on the edge of the dome, is my son and his Yashicamat [wikipop]twin-lens reflex camera[/wikipop]. From the perspective of my vantage point it looks like he’s a giant, surveying his garden of tiny trees. The lack of any real reference point in the middle of the image and a familiar foreground scale causes the eye to attempt to rationalize the scene. The distance involved is masked and somewhat compressed by the camera lens, compounding the effect and making him truly appear to be a giant.  Even the clouds appear to be in his reach.

This was captured using my Canon 24-70 at 40mm.  The short focal length and and aperture of f/16 gave me a virtually infinite depth of field. Shutter speed ended up being 1/25 of a second at ISO 100.