There is a literal atmosphere of awe that permeates Yosemite. You see it in peoples’ faces everywhere you go. They walk around in a sort of a daze—I call it “Yosemite Derangement Syndrome”—that causes them to stop unexpectedly in the middle of a bike path and look around, or go through a stop sign with their head out the car window looking up, or take the same picture several times in one day (that one I suffered from a lot).
The truth is that this place is so incredibly beautiful, it defies description. In every direction you look there are scenes of elegant composition and color. I must have taken a picture of Yosemite Falls from 35 different angles, distances, elevations and locations. I may have to post just a Yosemite Falls photo collection. The waterfalls, the cliffs and rocks, the trees, the rivers and creeks, the wildlife—all combine to make this park the most beautiful place I have ever been.
I am convinced that Yosemite makes better photographers of nearly everyone. The compositions just assemble themselves! Average snapshooters can take stunning shots, so the better photographers have to up the ante and look for moments of exceptional lighting or clouds or fog.
Unfortunately, Yosemite is too beautiful for her own good. The crowds of people who visit, the traffic even on an April weekend, the distracted drivers and the inevitable development required to support 4+ million visitors per year all put a heavy strain on the park. Amazingly, one can always find solitude and quiet with just a little effort. 90% of people go to the famous sights and after a day of this, consider that they have “done” Yosemite. With just a little effort and a short walk, it is easy to discover your own piece of Yosemite that is just as beautiful as any postcard picture and much more personal.