Half Dome, by Paul Roark

Half Dome is one of the best known and photographed objects in Yosemite and, perhaps, even California. As with many of my compositions, I tend to avoid just recording the subject in the light and manner that we usually see it. In that regard, bad weather is often good. The clouds drifting around the cliffs as the storm breaks up and allows the sun to stream through brings us a special moment. I have actually seen coyotes in Yosemite sit down in a meadow and stare at this type of a scene. For us, and maybe even for others, seeing things in a different light or surrounding gets our attention and makes life more interesting.

This photo was taken with a Rollei SL66 (a classic and unique medium format, film SLR that Brett Weston also favored). To fill the frame I used the Rollei/Zeiss 250 mm lens. I don't often find long telephoto lenses very useful for landscape photography, in part, because they often eliminate the context of the subject that most prefer to see. In Yosemite, however, the objects are so well known that no context may be needed. Ansel Adams chose very similar equipment (Hasselblad with Zeiss 250mm) when he took his famous shot of the Moon over Half Dome.

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