I don't think there are enough words, and surely no photo can capture the enormity that is El Capitan. The worlds largest granite monolith rises vertically to almost 3,000 feet above the Yosemite Valley. There's almost no part of the valley that isn't overwhelming in its beauty and sheer size, yet I always find my eye wandering back to El Cap. I am completely mesmerized by this rock. During this trip to Yosemite, I would spend the mid-day hours laying in the meadow below the monarch, watching climbers slowly make their ascent up the sheer cliff. I wondered what the view must be like, clinging to a smooth rock wall with nothing below or above you, but air, completely exposed. With a decent pair of binoculars it's fairly easy to make out individual climbers, and observe their tedius progress. Even at such a close physical range though, it becomes apparent that life on the wall is a completely different world from my peaceful vantage point below. During my days spent in the meadow, I would tinker around with different compositions looking for a decent angle to shoot El Capitan. It's a difficult subject to photograph due to size and lack of any sense of scale. My last day in the meadow these beautiful clouds rolled over the valley, completing the scene I was hoping for, and I got an image I was pleased with.
One of the most interesting things I observed while laying in the meadow were the people who parked their cars and walked out, curious as to what everyone was looking up at. It always took them such a long time to spot the climbers. Even in person, the scale of the valley is hard to grasp. When first attempting to spot a person on a 3,000 foot wall, you will almost certainly make the mistake of searching for something far too large. When someone would finally spot a climber, their gasps, oohs and ahhs, were a testament to the almost incomprehensible view. This experience got me thinking about photography, and specifically scale. So, while I burned the daylight hours in the meadow, waiting to depart somewhere for sunset, I decided to take a few different photos with my super telephoto lens that I could later combine in a series of photos that might make for an interesting series. Hopefully giving the viewer a slightly better idea of the scale of this place. Obviously, this is no replacement for the real thing, but it's worth taking a look at. At least I think so!