We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot, 1942
In 1861, Carleton Watkins stood before Yosemite with his Mammoth camera, glass plates, bottles of chemicals and a tent for a darkroom. With his clumsy instruments, he set about recording the sheer majesty of the place. Upon seeing the photographs, President Abraham Lincoln established the National Parks system and Yosemite became known as a shrine to human foresight.
Photography is a love of exploration, a desire to wander, a need to capture, a yearning to communicate and at best an offering to withstand the test of time. I want to capture an otherworldliness I cannot begin to describe in words. I want to imagine how Yosemite first felt in the hearts of the pioneers and pan handlers who crossed its valley.
I shot in medium format and infrared to create a sense of mystery regarding one of the world's most photographed sights. I wanted there to be no human evidence, no homage to Ansel Adams in black & white and no tweaking of digital colours.
With Yosemite, you almost have to reinvent it to have it noticed. How does one capture such beauty and eerie wonder? The challenge is not to give away too much but at the same time show its magical power. In this body of work, I want you to witness Yosemite in full colour yet retain the iconic feeling of black and white photography.
Nothing compares to seeing Yosemite for yourself and feeling at once humbled by nature. I only hope the Indian chiefs, who first lived here thousands of years ago, would recognize these hanging valleys, granite cliffs and waterfalls as their own.
Marco Walker (b. 1976) is an Austrian-American photographer who studied under Paul Jasmin at the Pasadena Art Center College in California. His career began in San Francisco taking portraits of new bands for record labels. He has shot all over the world and last year moved to London to expand his portfolio; most recently he has been shooting for Harpers Bazaar and Browns. He has exhibited in New York, London and Paris.