Yosemite and this year in review by Martin Gonzalez

I recently went on a trip to Yosemite National Park. It was honestly one of the highlights of my year. Ever since I've seen the classic tunnel view and glacier point views of half dome, this park has been at the top of my list. So you can say I was pretty stoked for this trip. As our 5 hour drive to Yosemite came to an end, me and my good friend were met with one of the gnarliest rain storms I've ever witnessed. The rain would just not STOP. At first we were a bit worried about our gear but at some point we just stopped caring and got out there. The park was desolate because no one in their right mind would walk around all while being pelted with rain drops. It was glorious. It was an added element of atmosphere that can be felt in the photos. My camera isn't weather proof and I knew that the whole time but it wasn't gonna stop me from making photographs. I wrapped it in a grocery bag with my weather proof lens sticking out and kept on shooting. I captured some stunning photos that day and am glad we embraced the crazy conditions.

This trip was a success and I walked away with at least 10+ keepers and even some images to add to my portfolio. The park itself is incredibly beautiful and very majestic. You can't help but feel humbled in such a place where the canyon walls tower around you. 

Once we got back home, with tasty raw files to edit, I got to thinking. At the beginning of this year, I would have NEVER thought my photography would be at where it is today. This was taken at the beginning of the year.


I just took this in Yosemite:

Not to mention the great images captured in Iceland, Zion, and photos done along the coast[Malibu, Laguna, etc]. Something clicked for me this year. I'm not sure what but I'm creating photographs that I'm very happy with. I remember feeling very anxious about my Iceland trip because I thought I wasn't going to be able to do it justice. That I was going to come back home empty handed. I prepared for the trip as much as possible by researching locations and just thinking about compositions for said locations and just told my self to just have fun with it. That photo set is the single most proudest moment in my photography.....so far. 

I don't mean to sound very full of myself. My photography needs a ton of work still. I firmly believe an artist/photographer/content creator is never satisfied. But I can't help but be ecstatic with what I accomplished this year.  What excites me even more is that my best photographs are still ahead of me.