Snag, Mountains, Moon

High Sierras, CA (Artist Statement)

Snag, Mountains, Moon: High Sierras, CA, USA (2001) - Fine art nature photograph of a brilliant moon above the outline of an old snag with mountains and forests in the backgound

This photograph is noteworthy as my first really good quality photograph, made before I considered photography a profession or even an important hobby. Though the composition is awkward, the photograph does communicate, and it was the very first of my collection to really do so.

Terri and I were in the middle of a long hike through many Californian mountain ranges. Passing through the High Sierras, we experienced many weeks of incredible scenery, long days of high altitude hiking, and extremely dense swarms of mosquitoes. On this evening, after making photographs of some remarkably dense bug clouds on a nearby lake, I joined Terri to make camp near this snag.

Later in the night, the moon rising behind the twisted snag inspired me to wearily get out my camera. Not yet understanding the virtues of carrying a tripod, I arranged a pile of pebbles to brace my camera on top of a boulder. The mosquitoes were still hungrily awake, allowing me to make only a single exposure before fleeing to bed.

— Snag, Mountains, Moon: High Sierras, CA, USA (2001)

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© Mark Raymond Mason

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