Little Lakes Trail, Mammoth Lakes, CA
This was a hike in late June of last year—the Little Lakes Valley trail above Rock Creek in the John Muir Wilderness area. Of all I've seen in the Sierras (a very small fraction of it, to be fair), this is one of my favorite places to hike and revisit.
Winter last year endured long into mid summer in the Sierras. Parts of this trail were still tucked away under thick blankets of snow. It was pleasantly cool, calm, and awfully sunny. I often ungratefully complain about lovely sunny weather such as this. It was perfect for hiking.. Terrible for pictures. The harsh bright sunlight is difficult to compose with. At mid day, all of these beautiful grand views lack enough shadow and atmosphere for my amateur skills to properly convey their splendor. As the sun starts to slip behind the mountain ridges, the composition becomes a war between darkness and light, to which the photographer's task is to mediate their eternal feud in hopes of a workable compromise.
I was hiking with a friend and fellow photographer. As we talked and I bemoaned the sun and its brightness for the thousandth time, I saw in myself that there was room for growth in the way I look at things—to learn to embrace what we're given as it is given and capture each moment in the best way possible.