A lot of people think that when you have grand scenery, such as you have in Yosemite, that photography must be easy.
Ever since the 1860s when photographers travelled the American West and brought photographs of scenic wonders back to the people on the East Coast of America we have had a North American tradition of landscape photography used for the environment.
I began taking pictures in the natural world to be able to show people what I was experiencing when I climbed and explored in Yosemite in the High Sierra.
Luckily, many other people tell me how they have had a particular landscape photograph of mine in their office or bedroom for 15 years and it always speaks to them strongly whenever they see it.
These days, most nature photographers are deeply committed to the environmental message.
One of the biggest mistakes a photographer can make is to look at the real world and cling to the vain hope that next time his film will somehow bear a closer resemblance to it.
I almost never set out to photograph a landscape, nor do I think of my camera as a means of recording a mountain or an animal unless I absolutely need a 'record shot'. My first thought is always of light.
I find it some of the hardest photography and the most challenging photography I've ever done. It's a real challenge to work with the natural features and the natural light.
My first thought is always of light.
Wanting to take a light camera with me when I climb or do mountain runs has kept me using exclusively 35 mm.
I think that cognitive scientists would support the view that our visual system does not directly represent what is out there in the world and that our brain constructs a lot of the imagery that we believe we are seeing.
My mountaineering skills are not important to my best photographs, but they do add a component to my work that is definitely a bit different than that of most photographers.
What I mean by photographing as a participant rather than observer is that I'm not only involved directly with some of the activities that I photograph, such as mountain climbing, but even when I'm not I have the philosophy that my mind and body are part of the natural world.
The reason that I keep writing is that all my most powerful messages about the fates of wild places that I care about need to have words as well as images.
The landscape is like being there with a powerful personality and I'm searching for just the right angles to make that portrait come across as meaningfully as possible.