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Winter Road, Yosemite

Ryan Longnecker


Behind the Shot

“I grew up really close to Yosemite,” Ryan shares, “but I’d never been there until later in life. Every time I go there it’s like a discovery, and I’d never seen it in snow in the park. Going in winter was something I’d always wanted to do, and I knew if I was going to catch the snow, I’d have to watch the weather closely. We saw our chance and raced up there soon after it snowed.”

“I had this image in my mind before I shot it. I knew what I wanted it to look like before I shot it. Taking the picture doesn’t end at the camera—I gravitate toward the artistic process after the picture is taken, like I would do in the darkroom with an enlarger.”

Ryan explains his photographic approach: “I recall how it felt when I was standing there, and I edit it to look exactly how it looked when I shot it.” Ryan takes it a step further: “The images take shape in the editing. I love the artistry of seeing what colors can come out of a picture. How can I use the editing process as its own artistic engagement? I’m not a journalist; I’m an artist.”

Ryan believes that an image can mature over time and take on a new life. “It’s important to go back and revisit your art and infuse your current life view. Your creative view and how you’ve grown as a person and what you value creatively change with time. If you compare images side by side with ones taken 10 years ago, you will find that you may have figured some things out about yourself, about who you are as a creative.”