Yosemite National Park - Valley View
Submitted by Harlan Goodson

May 7

“I love to take pictures,” said Sacramento, Calif.’s Harlan Goodson, whose photo of California’s Yosemite National Park was this week’s top-rated It’s A Snap! image.

An attorney by trade, Goodson says he has a special avocation for landscape and travel photography, which led him to take a class this past March through the Learning Exchange program.

Led by professional photographer Gary Hart, Goodson and fellow classmates started out early in the morning, shooting several locations around the park throughout the day. “It was a 12-13-hour shoot,” he said.

“Everyone was taking pictures from a bridge, but I got down by the river for my shot,” said Goodson.

As for wildlife, they saw none. “It was a day after a snow. We were dressed in layers — they were smarter than we were.”

The Exchange class “taught me how to shoot Yosemite,” said Goodson. “I learned a lot about following the light, where to be at the right time of day, where to capture a rainbow, a sunset.”

Goodson says he learned the basics of photography while training as a Turkish linguist at the Navy’s Defense Language Institute, using their craft room to develop and print photos.

Favorite places to travel? “Everywhere,” said Goodson. “We’re lucky enough to take a big trip once a year. ... We love European cities — Italy tops, Venice, and the Almafi Coast,” adding, “Istanbul is beautiful,” referring to his Navy stint.

The winning photo was captured with a Nikon D700 with 14-24 wide-angle lens, on a manual setting “to get the perfect light.”

Goodson says he is building a portfolio and hopes to show his work in a gallery this year.

For more about the Learning Exchange program, click here.

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