I hope analog photography never dies, because the people are spectacular. I hope you invest more into the people you meet on your photography journey than in the gear. I hope that when you go on photowalks, you’ll make new friends instead of add to your follower count on instagram. I hope that making photos of gas stations and vintage cars is secondary (or even last) to your wanting to link with others and make viable connections.
These are just a few film folks I’ve met along the way.
4:30am and the world is noiseless, which is to say the sun hasn’t yet dawned, the day’s opportunities are catatonic, and the weight of air is so still and heavy it can be felt pressing down on your shoulders, kneecaps, fingertips.
This place doesn’t feel the same: less feet, less footprints, less bodies, more disembodying moments atop summited peaks. Time has slowed to a painful crawl, it is bleeding seconds so thick a half-day hike takes less than that. Seven months suspended in a sour soupy mix of time and chaos and fear and panic. But today, this morning, this afternoon, during the sunset drive home, everything is okay, life is good, our lungs are cleansed, our wonderment restored, and our sense of adventure reignited.
Thank you, Yosemite National Park and the day-pass gods for bestowing on us a pass for an abnormally uncrowded Sunday. Skeleton bare and bone thin, we didn’t need to weave in and out of crowds during any hikes; we exhausted our legs and pumped them with lactic acid biking carelessly and speedily down empty paths leading into the Valley and Curry Village. We took a lazy nap by one of the numerous beaches, with only wildlife around us. For an entire day, it felt like Yosemite was all ours. We absorbed this feeling of solitary existence and gave thanks by tiring our bodies with hikes, swallowing up the day entirely without a second wasted, and becoming whole and wholly sublime.
9:20pm and it is black, which is to say there is a total and gut sinking absence of colour, the day is concluding, and you can feel your bones creak, the back of your knees stick, and your blood vessels contract. This is your body’s stimulus for the end of a gorgeous day, of unforgettable memories, of tired feet being put to rest. Night falls and so does your heavy body, into bed to dream about another day in Yosemite.
Don’t take a nap inside a tent - regardless of the fly being left off - when it is 113ºF out. There is still no airflow and all the stagnant, hot air will give you heat exhaustion. Isn’t that ironic? Waking up from a nap only to be made sleepy and lethargic.
The afternoons will stretch long, and your shadows longer still on the granite rock faces. Summer in the deserts are never forgiving. You’ll be made to feel helpless, useless even; so you’ll seek shelter anywhere, even if it is a moral-less corporate giant. You’ll give thanks quickly, under your breath, and spend the rest of your afternoons wandering the aisles and eating too many Fudgsicle bars. ThankyouWalmartforexistinginthisdeserttown.
Sun sets and we’re looking to get high: bigger boulders, higher ground, better sunsets. And desert sunsets are magnanimous. Everyone claps for them, I might have cried. It was too beautiful and we are so lucky to have had this experience.
Sun sets and we’re looking for places to hide: from the scorpions and tarantulas we see. Our campground runs along their path of migration. Everyone screams, I might have screamed loudest. We are so lucky to not have been stung or bitten.
Night time in the desert is dark. And so loud. We fall asleep to the sounds of coyotes singing and snakes slithering about. There might have been owls, but I was already deep asleep.