Garrett Hauenstein
Mar 25, 2015 · 3 min read

This winter, I made a long overdue trek to Yosemite with my family. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for just over 15 years and despite my passion for photography, I’d never made it up to this incredible place. If I were an Elvis fan, I would liken this to living within four hours of Graceland and never visiting. But… I’ll forgive myself.

El Capitan


I was able to take a fantastic photo walk presented by the Ansel Adams Gallery during an absolutely frigid day in the Yosemite Valley. Our leader, Kirk (in the black jacket and khaki pants) provided a wealth of information about Adams’ life and career, as well as his artistic process and creative inspirations. It was wonderful to spend an afternoon with other photo enthusiasts, talking about gear and offering wonderful critiques on the images as we went along. The afternoon, which lasted from about Noon to 4:30, just as the sun was setting, found us traveling to many locations that Adams was fond of.

If you’re interested in information regarding these workshops, you can find them HERE.


The contrasting hard edges of the bleached rock and mountain face against the soft, bushy foliage below is an incredible sight. These images attempt to highlight this juxtaposition as well as emulate the processing and filtering that Adams used.

These images were taken of Half Dome in the distance with a small pond in the foreground. The water, despite the wind, was relatively placid and allowed for some great reflections.


At a place like Yosemite, it’s easy to get so captivated by the massive landscapes that you don’t see the forest for the trees… literally sometimes. Remember to stop, slow down, and look beyond the majestic mountains.


Even in the middle of winter, the wild life was everywhere. It was incredibly exciting (and a little unnerving) to have both deer and wolves come in close proximity to us during our visit.

While not technically “wildlife”… watching my 9 year old and 11 year old daughters (my 4 year old was back in the cabin, nursing a wicked cold) roam freely around the wilderness was probably the best part about the trip. 90% of the year, they are suburban, TV/Computer/Tablet/Phone/Tech junkies… but not this week.

Garrett Hauenstein

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Marketing Professional, Photo Enthusiast