Photo Essay

World's Most Famous Parking Lot Part 1, Be Creative

Along the Wall

Some would claim Leicester England has the most famous parking lot, where King Richard III is buried, as if some archaeological feature makes something famous. Well we need to define terms first. As an adjective famous would be: "having a widespread reputation, usually of a favorable nature; renowned; celebrated." Paving over a king would be more of an embarrassment than something of a "favorable nature." Although I have to admit if they found the parking lot Jimmy Hoffa was buried under (he disappeared July 30, 1982), that would give the place widespread notoriety. His discovery could be problem though when the International Brotherhood of Teamsters would posthumously elect him as president again. But back to this famous Yosemite National Park Parking lot, a park parking lot sounds redundant, anyway it does meet the definition of famous, that of having a favorable nature. On that score it wins twice as nature is favorable here leading to people being favorable here also. This also sounds redundant. A place of metaphoric echoes. But OK, is this the most famous parking lot?

Well yes, the facts bear witness that the most famous parking lot is the tiny lot people come to when they pass through the Wawona tunnel into Yosemite valley (Personally I think it should called the Wowomy tunnel). Ever since 1933, thousands of people crowd through this small parking lot, see the valley, and take pictures. Most of them are "I was here shots." In fact almost 99% are this kind of picture. So this place provides a perfect study of how people take those kinds of shots. When was the last time you read an article on how to take a "I was here" shot? I don't think anyone has published an article on this subject, so I'm starting a series on this subject with simple observations from this place. The perfect place to show how to do this kind of picture. But first some facts.

The parking lot is fairly small. It can only handle a couple of buses at a time. Specs on the lot since 2008 are: The Parking Lot has a total of 34 parking spaces; five more than what was available before. Four oversized vehicle parking spaces are located in the center of the parking area and two parking spaces meet ADA/ABA guidelines located adjacent to the road nearest the viewing platform (an extra wide sidewalk). The remaining 28 spaces are provided for single-family vehicles. It amazes me that the buses come in and go like they are on a schedule. Rarely do they have a bus jam in the lot. People park and walk up to the large sidewalk area off the lot. In some cases, they get creative; have a romantic moment; become fashion models; decide to get into a fight; become extremely stoic; or display just about any other human emotion/non-emotion imaginable. Part 1 of my series is this "Be Creative" photo-essay, the real crowd pleaser. First look over the pictures and then the observations.

Being creative involves a little bit of being crazy in the canvas of life. It has common features as being romantic also. The latter has more emphasis on the intensely involved part of crazy, whereas the former has the possessed by enthusiasm aspect. Both can result in acting foolishly and departing from moderation. Isn't life grand? So we have the bride and groom getting up on a wall where the wind could blow one into the valley below to do something crazy. Cart wheel, hula hoop, catching air, acting as a comic, doing swan lake. These are not the normal plans people have to come to a great scenic view, the best in the world, and have this reaction of acting out. But peal back the motive and ask yourself how many boring "I was there" shots can anyone tolerate? In this Facebook(TM) flash photo wall and move on, one does not easily create a memorable event in a photo. So a creative person adds some spice. Not that the valley needs spice, but the people being in the picture need something to add to the composition otherwise people will think, "why did they get in the way of a great scene." There is a method to their madness in showing once again the un-predicative aspect of creativity in a super inspired condition. Kind of the Wow Wow factor which is why it should be called the Wowomy tunnel, but I become tautological again, but I use that word it in the reinforcement of truth sense.

Speaking of truth, we shouldn't miss the true scene before us, like the woman missing the light hitting that snow covered pine tree as it glittered in the sunlight. Photos can also help show us who once owned this parking lot when the valley was wild. They come back and visit the spot when the people are gone and would take it over again if we all just disappeared. It reminds me that this place is to preserve their habitat and we are the guests. As guest, we are responsible to not damage or hurt the place we love to visit. It is their home and as the park gets more amenities and facilities to handle the crowds, we are taking away more of their home. Seriously, Ansel Adams wanted fewer buildings in the valley and would probably give up his gallery building located in the valley today if he were still alive. The noise is un-natural, the traffic jams are helping anyone, and the parking expansions are taking away normal meadow land. It is time for us to be creative and be a little crazy over a land that has limits of human signatures to preserve the original signature God left there.

VOTE: Do you like this story?

Tell a friend about this story!

Tell a friend about this story!

  1. or
Preview

Hi there!

thought you might like this story!

http://jpgmag.com/stories/19398

Thanks,
—The JPG team

5 responses

  • Susan B. Griffith

    Susan B. Griffith   said (12 Jun 2013):

    I know this parking lot and you have described it perfectly. It's very much a part of the Yosemite experience.

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray   gave props (13 Jun 2013):

    A good idea and a well done story, I voted.

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (14 Jun 2013):

    love these shots!! Vote for narration

  • Michele Wambaugh

    Michele Wambaugh   said (15 Jun 2013):

    FAB series, Bruce! A+ voted

  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker gave props (25 Jun 2013):

    A wonderful study in human (and wolf) behavior. I esp. like the shot with the white tree, and the one with the lonely wolf. It has been many years since I was there, but I remember a sense of awe and reverence at the overwhelming surroundings. This story is so well written and thought through. voted.

Want to leave a comment? Log in or sign up!