The Milky Way in the Meadows

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August 2020
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I made this capture in late summer of 2020. It was such a bizarre year with the Coronavirus crises. After I realized that the Meadows was not as “closed” as much as I believed earlier in the summer, I made several trips to my beloved home in the Sierra. This capture was a combination of all that I learned in the summer of 2019. Look below at the story from that year.

“Tuolumne Meadows is a special place for me and my family. I will never forget some of my first visits. I remember starting a back-country trip in the Meadows in June of 1970–when I was 14 years old—and finishing another late in August that same year. During the next year on a climbing trip I saw that view we all know as you pass by Pothole Dome, where you first see Mount Dana and Mount Gibbs. It took my breath away, and my life away too. Looking back over fifty years now, that was the end the college years I had planned for the future. I was starting my junior year in high school, I was bright and headed for UC Berkeley, but my life took a different path. I wound up attending the "University of Yosemite". I was a star climber in those years in the Valley, but my home was always in Tuolumne. Later I wondered why I didn't use my camera much in those climbing years. It is a difficult place to work. After nearly fifty years, I feel ready. Most days now my thoughts are clear, and I know when and why to point the camera. All camera adjustments are automatic these days, so I rarely have to spend effort on those right-side of the brain distractions. It's a wonderful time in life to be an artist, and there are more photographs for me to make in Tuolumne Meadows.”

And so more photographs came to pass in 2020. I scouted this spot over and over the last year. We experienced a “monsoon” pattern in early August. I made "Afternoon in the Meadows" earlier in the afternoon. This was my second try at this location,it might have been 2018 before, and my skills were far more advanced this time around. I do like my results this time.