Photographer & Author: Francesco Stumpo
Camera: Nikon D3100 & iPhone 5C & 8, Bell & Howell Auto 35/Reflex 35mm (Film)
Film: Fujifilm Superia 35mm ASA 200 Color
Processed: Photoshop CS6, Lightroom and VSCO.

Date: July 4th, 2018

Photo Essay:
Seasonal visits to Yosemite

Heading east during summer, autumn and early winter season in and around the Yosemite Valley National Park in California.

Whenever I’m on my way to Yosemite I ask myself, “Why am I not coming here every single weekend?” We all know the obvious answer, or excuse, between work responsibilities, city life and other endeavours, it seems hard to return to the Mariposa County often, but once you are near by you understand the presence, importance and shear magnitude that places like this brings to one's existence.

Moving onto the landscape, or even attempting to capture it, in places like this can always feel overwhelming, especially when you consider the amount of people that drive by, the countless of professionals, writers, activists, etc. that have come before you and you wonder “Is my impression of this valley of any relevance at all?” Probably not.

So with some of this rather realistic lense, given the magical sensations the landscape provides, over the years I have tried to focus on that and less so on this prior impressions. If anything, I’ve made the goal to bring anyone that comes to California for their first time to this valley, even if it’s just for a day. As friends from college have come to visit, aunts and uncles, my mom and younger brother and more, I have always made the time to return and see the foliage, the domes, the granite, the rocks, the skies and trails.

That said, I’ve had the opportunity to see it in various times, like that one time I went for my first visit during the beginning of summer, or that summer-like weekend retreat at the end of August, to ultimately a more colder time before major closure of roads around November. Even though I’m still missing the snowy captures and experience, it has been rather rewarding to witness the differences and similarities of returning during different months of the year.

Lastly, I’ve found that the magic of Yosemite might lay in the impression it makes on it’s visitor, beyond the obvious majestic and breathtaking peaks, colors and waterfalls. It’s that moment when people (familiar or unfamiliar with the sights) see the open valley for the first time, and wonder once again, “Why have I been here before?”

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