I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos by British photographer James Popsys lately. He’s got a particular piece of advice he repeats often: Don’t just try to be better. Try to be different.
It’s an ethic I try to take to heart — but one I’m afraid I didn’t live up to as much as I’d hoped on our recent visit to Sequoia and Yostemite national parks. Frankly, I had trouble getting out of my own head — so determined not to waste the extraordinary beauty of the place I forgot to just relax, explore, and imagine.
The shot above is an example of what that produces. Don’t get me wrong — it’s beautiful. But of course it’s beautiful. It’s taken from Yosemite’s famous “tunnel view,” a must-see stop that wallops you in the face with its grandeur as you approach. And I love this photo. It’s just … I also love so many of the other very-similar photos taken from the same spot.
Perhaps my most enjoyable photo excursion during our trip was my at-dawn exploration around our AirBnB in Lemon Cove, and the road leading north to Sequoia. It’s eerily quiet out there at times.
But Yosemite’s most famous sites and spots are famous for a reason. And Half Dome, seen above in the tunnel view photo, is amazing from every angle.
If you go, don’t miss the view from the Glacier Point overlook at sunset. I don’t even care if it’s a go-to spot for photographers. It’s just magical.
But I definitely need to get back and see it through fresh eyes. It’s amazing from every angle, and I’m going to find mine.
Oh! And for good measure here’s a previously unpublished shot from later in the same trip. It’s outside San Francisco’s Cliff House, overlooking the Sutro Baths — where I saw some of the most incredible sunsets I’ve ever experienced.