Black oak leaves, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite National Park 1983


John and I have been working on my next ebook, which is a collection of my Yosemite photographs.  This image is one of my favorite Yosemite images, but it has sadly languished in terms of printing it because the original film was lost about twenty years ago.  The Cibachrome lab I used lost it.  I never had a proper scan made of the film as high res film scanning was not commonly available back then.   And don’t get me started on “lost film” stories.  I have far too many…

However, I have an exhibit coming up this summer at The Ansel Adams Gallery from  7/07 to 8/17/2010 so this will be a golden opportunity to print and exhibit this image.  For the digital file shown here, I scanned an 8×10 Cibachrome.  Not an ideal method, but I can make a very clean 16×20 print from that file.

By the way, this photograph was made with my Wista 4×5 Metal Field Camera in January, 1983.

In my Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness book, I included this photo and wrote these words about the making of it:

“This young oak stands a few feet from the main road leaving Yosemite Valley.  Millions of visitors race by it each year.  Despite its incongruous location, the tree conveyed a sense of wildness to me.  I had had a bad day at work [The Ansel Adams Gallery] and was heading home.  Needing something to calm my frustrated disposition,  I stopped for a walk along the meadow’s edge.  Having had the time to slow down and relax, I looked up from my ruminations and was struck with the beauty of these leaves.  With my attitude adjustment complete, I exposed my favorite image of Yosemite!”

Enjoy,  Bill

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Published by William Neill

William Neill, a resident of the Yosemite National Park area since 1977, is a landscape photographer concerned with conveying the deep, spiritual beauty he sees and feels in Nature. Neill's award-winning photography has been widely published in books, magazines, calendars, posters, and his limited-edition prints have been collected and exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, including the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Vernon Collection, and The Polaroid Collection. Neill received a BA degree in Environmental Conservation at the University of Colorado. In 1995, Neill received the Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography. Neill's assignment and published credits include National Geographic, Smithsonian, Natural History, National Wildlife, Conde Nast Traveler, Gentlemen's Quarterly, Travel and Leisure, Wilderness, Sunset, Sierra and Outside magazines. Also, he writes a monthly column, On Landscape, for Outdoor Photographer magazine. Feature articles about his work have appeared in Life, Camera and Darkroom, Outdoor Photographer and Communication Arts, from whom he has also received five Awards of Excellence. His corporate clients have included Sony Japan, Bayer Corporation, Canon USA, Nike, Nikon, The Nature Company, Hewlett Packard, 3M, Freidrick Grohe, Neutrogena, Sony Music/Classical, University of Cincinnati, UBS Global Asset Management. His work was chosen to illustrate two special edition books published by The Nature Company, Rachel Carson's The Sense of Wonder and John Fowles's The Tree. His photographs were also published in a three book series on the art and science of natural process in collaboration with the Exploratorium Museum of San Francisco: By Nature's Design (Exploratorium / Chronicle Books, 1993), The Color of Nature (Exploratorium / Chronicle Books, 1996) and Traces of Time (Chronicle Books / Exploratorium, Fall 2000). A portfolio of his Yosemite photographs has been published entitled Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness (Yosemite Association, 1994) which received The Director's Award from the National Park Service. A retrospective monograph of his landscape photography entitled Landscapes Of The Spirit (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown, 1997) relates his beliefs in the healing power of nature. William has taught photography since 1980 for such prestigious organizations as The Ansel Adams Gallery, the Friends of Photography, Palm Beach Photographic Workshops, The Maine Workshops and Anderson Ranch Workshops. He specializes in landscape and nature photography and is concerned with conveying the beauty seen in Nature. Currently, he teaches online courses for and One-on-One Workshops in his home studio near Yosemite National Park.

8 replies on “Black oak leaves, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite National Park 1983”

  1. Hi David,

    I don’t remember talking to Phil specifically about loosing originals, but did regarding the poor handling of film by most publishers.

    BTW, I worked at North Cascades during college, in the summers of 1974 and 1975. Phil’s photos in “Wild Cascades: Forgotten Parkland,” was a great inspiration. Still have the small softbound edition!

    Glad you like this photo. I believe I used my Epson V750 Pro to scan the print.


  2. Hi Bill, that is a beautiful photograph. You may have traded “lost original” stories with Dad because he too had a lot of them having sent out his original film to many, many publishers. When the Sierra Club used Barnes Press, they were the worst. They lost all of his color originals from the famous Exhibit Format Series book, “Wild Cascades: Forgotten Parkland,” that helped establish North Cascades National Park. Fortunately with the digital age we have resurrected some of the damaged originals. I am curious what kind of scanner you used to scan the Cibachrome of the image above… In my experience, Cibachrome does not scan as well as dye transfer.

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