On our trip to Yosemite Valley, we took a camera walk led by instructor Julia Reardin. She is a staff photographer at the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Village. Let us pause to ponder that: her job is to walk around Yosemite Valley and take pictures.
Lucky for us, she also leads the occasional camera walk. She urged us first to look for interesting light, and then to decide what to take a picture of. That simple idea put me in a different frame of mind as I walked around the valley that day. Otherwise, I don't think I would have noticed this scene; after all it is not one of the named attractions like "Bridal Veil Falls" or "Half Dome."
Another highlight of our visit was a "Bear Walk" with U. S. Park Service Ranger Shelton Johnson. He posed and answered such questions as, "Why do bears ignore what is going on around them?" (Hint: the answer has to do with food chain). During the tour, his abilities as a teacher and performer made it clear we were in the presence of genius; later, when I read his wikipedia page, I realized he is also a celebrity. I guess he was too modest to mention that visit to the White House.
Finally, a shout-out to the anonymous conductor of Amtrak 713 from Merced to Emeryville on February 24. The ride through the fields and orchards of the Central Valley is pleasant enough, but he he made it more entertaining with announcements such as, "Next stop: Modesto. Modesto passengers, we love you, but you gotta go! So prepare yourselves physcially, mentally and spiritually to step off the train in approximately 59.9 seconds!"
There are people in this world who wake up every morning and think, "I love my job!" It was a pleasure to meet a few.