Saturday, November 8, 2014

Yosemite, Ken Rockwell, Photography Groups, Photographic Vision, Etc.

Two Photographers At Glacier Point - Yosemite National Park, California
I visited Yosemite National Park a few weeks ago, and there were a lot of photography groups there. A caravan of white rental vans would pull up at a location, and a bunch of people with cameras would come pouring out. There was always someone you could tell who was the group leader because they'd immediately begin explaining how to best capture the seen. Sometimes it would be in a non-English language.

I did not see Ken Rockwell at Yosemite, but he was there about the same time that I was. He was leading a group on a four-day photographic journey through the park. People pay him money to do this.

Now whenever the name Ken Rockwell is bought up, some photographers will roll their eyes. People either love or hate the guy. Why? I think he has strong opinions on all sorts of things, and sometimes those strong opinions are opposite of commonly held views. In other words, he steps on some toes with some things that he says. Also, he is very successful at what he does, and I think there are some who are jealous at that success. They think that they could do just as good or perhaps better, and they are wondering why no one is paying them gobs of money.
Cathedral Spires From Cook's Meadow - Yosemite National Park, California
I don't love or hate Ken Rockwell. I've never met him. He seems like a nice enough guy. Like anything and everything on the internet, including the Roesch Photography Blog, whatever is posted should be taken with a grain of salt. I think sometimes people are too serious when it comes to the Web.

Anyway, Mr. Rockwell posted his Yosemite photographs over on his website. For me it was interesting to see the images because I was at most of those locations. Never at the same time or day that he was, but pretty close.

You could give 100 photographers identical equipment and put them at the same location at the same time and tell them to create one image, and you'd have 100 different photographs. Some might be similar, some would be dramatically dissimilar. But none of them would be exactly the same. That is something I really appreciate about photography.
Evening At Tunnel View - Yosemite National Park, California
What explains this is photographic vision. Over time all photographers will develop their own unique way of capturing a scene. They find ways to infuse a bit of themselves into their images. They see the scene just a bit different.

So I have my own vision. Ken Rockwell has his own vision. All of the other photographers who were at Yosemite (including those in the white vans) have their own vision. None of our photographs look alike, even at such an iconic location.

That is amazing if you think about it. That is the power of photography. That is the power of photographic vision.

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