Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Horsetail Fall

I was still in the womb when Galen Rowell made his iconic 1973 image of Last Light on Horsetail Fall. Often imitated, rarely rivaled, photographers flock to Yosemite Valley each February to re-create images of this now famous natural optical phenomena. After spending several years working for Mr. Rowell I knew better than to go around copying his work so had made no attempts to photograph Horsetail. Galen was tragically killed in 2002 and now I feel a certain nostalgia about revisiting the places which defined his career. In February I stopped for the first time along Northside Drive and stood shoulder to shoulder with 60-70 others waiting for the light. When it peaked out through the clouds just before sunset a hushed reverence settled over the crowd, a thousand clicks reverberated through the air and the legacy of a visionary's spirit was channeled through another generation of landscape photographers.