Valley Portal

I made this photograph on Monday, December 7, during a beautiful winter storm in Yosemite Valley (see this post for more info). Frankly, I haven’t worked in such poor conditions for some time! When I first spied this scene, it was windy and snowing heavily. I did not let this stop me from setting up the camera, yet for nearly an hour following the setup, I fought to expose a sheet of film. The snow was deep; my dark cloth was blowing around; my ground glass and lens kept fogging; snow kept landing on the front element of the lens; I was covered in snow; and ultimately, it was simply snowing too heavily to make the photograph I had hoped to make. But I couldn’t quit it, as the idea of this image gnawed at me. So I fought the conditions for an hour, using randomly placed expletives along the way, and finally got my negative exposed. And then the idea of the image once again bugged me and bugged me until I finally got the chance to develop film a couple of days ago.

And now I am at peace. When I have business to attend to and can’t get away, this photograph will serve as my magical portal to the Happiest Place on Earth.

Happy Holidays, folks! Thanks for staying tuned to my blog during 2009!

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

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13 thoughts on “Valley Portal

  1. Great photo and really appreciate the background you talk about it. One of my goals this coming year is to take more time in waiting for the shot instead of just shooting everything I see. Patience is a fleeting virtue that is disappearing with digital photography.

  2. Beautiful photo Michael. Well worth the effort. I’m glad I wasn’t the only person feeling this way while out in that storm. It was rough and frustrating at times, but in retrospect it was a lot of fun. I took a mental of how to be prepared in such conditions from another photographer while out shooting in Yosemite the weekend of this storm…


    Note the dedicated tripod for the umbrella. Pure genius. I’m still kicking myself I left my umbrella at home. I always keep it in my car, but for some reason took it out and forgot to put it back. Anyhow this setup is worth noting for anyone thinking of venturing out in a snow storm with their camera.

  3. Pingback: Product Review: BetterScanning.com Variable Height Mounting Station « Michael E. Gordon Photography

  4. I have come across countless scenes like this during the winter here in Wisconsin and marvel at the beauty. You have captured the reason why I love winter so much – the beauty is undescribable, nearly mystical in the midst of the storm.

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