Friday, December 16, 2016

My New E-Book Of Sierra Nevada Photographs

Fr. Dale Matson

E-Book Available @ $5.00

Introduction (from the book)

“Was this the face that launched a thousand ships?” In Christopher Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus is referring to the face of Helen Of Troy. In Psychologist Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy Of Needs” the search for beauty was included as an important need. Although we are caught up daily in the security and safety needs, we also enjoy beauty.
Beauty can motivate us to leave the safety of our homes. Beauty is a Siren call to adventure, to risk far beyond the comforts of home.
I can see the Central Sierra Nevada from where I live in Fresno California. Before I was born Theodore Solomons stood near Fresno also and envisioned a trail that would follow along the Sierra Crest. This dream was realized and finalized as the 211-mile John Muir Trail between Yosemite Valley and Mount Whitney. John Muir famously stated, “The mountains are calling and I must go.”
  The Spirit drives many of us, like Jesus, into the wilderness. For Muir, whose father was a pastor, the wilderness was like a great temple where he went to worship. The Central Sierra Nevada is like a Beethoven masterpiece. It is variations on a central theme. The central theme is a canvas composed of firmament, rocks, water, flora and fauna.
The canvas is ever changing and this observer is ever learning. The more I learn, the more I appreciate what it takes to capture an accurate rendering at an optimum time. I have learned some geology, location names, wildlife habits and habitat. The “golden hours” where the light is best, dictate wilderness permits and overnights. Much of my photography has required multiple nights and days of backpacking to find the places I have sought. It is the many faces of ‘Helen’ I seek in the mountains.
My camera gear while essentially lightweight is burdensome for me. The weight of my backpack and gear slow down this former trail runner. But it is the taking of photographs that has redefined my purpose of being on these mountain trails. I admire Galen Rowell who was a wonderful mountain photographer. He could run the trails and climb the granite walls with his camera in a chest pouch. He knew the Eastern Sierra intimately.  Knowing the location before you go there for photographs is important. Knowing what lenses you will need is essential. The morning light is the best in the eastern slopes and the afternoon light is the best on the western slopes. Sometimes, stormy skies are ‘game changers’ where a mid day shot can be terrific.
How faithfully do my photographs represent what I have seen? I am happy for one or two photographs from each trip to trigger the best memories from when I was there although my memories of Baxter Pass were not as pleasant as the photograph.
I have published these photographs in an “EBook” version because the quality and color are best suited to a EBook. Additionally, as they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” And it is the photographs of the beautiful Sierra Nevada taken over many years and hundreds of miles of trails that I want to share with you. Hopefully, one or more of these photographs will serve as a motivating force to send you into the Sierra Nevada Mountains.


No comments: