Exploring with Friends to Make an Image
By John P. DeGrazio
If you look up vision in a dictionary you might find a listing referring to the power of sensing with your eyes. Another, more appropriate entry for today’s update is an imaginative conception or anticipation. All photographers are visionaries. They use the camera as a tool to share that vision with the world and tell their story. A few weeks ago, I was invited by Joshua Cripps to join an expedition on the Diving Board in Yosemite to be part of a project to photograph Half Dome from this unique perspective with a few other photographers whom I did not know. Josh and I shared a great adventure that day, and we were not at all disappointed that the light during the sunset hour was not suitable to make a lasting image. Instead, we reveled in our exploration and were pleased with establishing new friendships with four other like minded individuals in a very special place.
Getting skunked is a right of passage for every shutterbug, and that is exactly what happened to us the first time. But our group leader, Jeff Mitchum was undeterred as his vision to create “Range of Light” was the driving force behind this second journey up to the Diving Board. This time I joined him and Jeremy Long from our first trip along with a whole new cast of characters (Abe, Kevin, Eric and Dude). This time around we were much more pleased with the light and even took some great captures the next day before the storm rolled in. Right before the sun set, we had a band of clouds blocking the light. then at that magical moment, we all got our shot. I was fortunate enough to stand behind Jeff and was honored to have the first look at his upcoming release from his camera back. I’ve already seen some of Abe Blair’s amazing images from the trip including the first one of me jumping from a rock in front of the face of Half Dome. Jeremy long just released his video and inspiring image called “Second Chances“.
I will share some of my images from this trip next week, but for now, here is the video I just put together on Youtube and a couple phone images. That evening, I stated I was completely satisfied and could have put my camera back in the bag after my first capture. It was just a that special an evening. We made new friends and shared such a powerful experience in a place we all so passionately hold close to our hearts. Of course we continued to shoot and were rewarded greatly for our patience. We built a brotherhood that night. We shared great stories, a genuine camaraderie, and a lot of brownies. We’re all looking forward to our next adventure together and know we’ll be ready to drop everything on Jeff’s next call.