Here is a video I’ve just discovered of Yosemite National Park. To my mind it is a great example of the ways video and images are able to engage viewers and develop awareness of areas, their beauty and the need to protect them – even though the concept of national parks/protected areas as well as their management and the tourism/visitation which occurs are not always without problems.
I was reminded of this when I was doing some reading about visitation and tourism at Yosemite. According to its website, Yosemite receives just over 4 million visitors yearly. According to some suggestions, the majority of visitors largely keep to the Yosemite valley. This can surely only be described as a very ‘contained’ (for better or worse) experience of a park that is 302,607 ha (747,956 acres) in size with a designated wilderness area of 285,151 ha (704,624 acres).
It was the great American landscape photographer Ansel Adams who hoped to capture, with his images, what he described as ‘equivalence’. This is when an image evokes in those who view it an equivalent set of emotions, connections, ideas and values which Adams felt when he orginally took the image. Given his belief that photography could be (perhaps should be) a mechanism for preservation and protection, equivalence becomes an important engagement with not only the image, but the landscape and the need to protect it. Some of his images of Yosemite are rightly classics in landscape photography.
And so back to the video of Yosemite. Hopefully the creators can generate the kinds of connections to the landscape that Adams strived to achieve. Ultimately, connections may be more possible through this video than by peak season visits to the confines of the Yosemite valley.
You can go to Yosemite’s site here.
Read about Ansel Adams and see some of his work here.