Burned Log

Burned Log, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California

This photograph is from my series of Faces of Nature (and a Few Others). There is actually a clinical name for observing these "faces". It is called Pareidolia. The World English Dictionary says it is "the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist". Seeing faces in clouds, on the moon, on a piece of French toast, or a burl on a tree are examples of this phenomenon. I don't go out specifically looking for "faces". If I did, I would probably miss them entirely. They are found, more or less, accidentally. It's always fun when I recognize one. It's also fun to bring them out in the photograph using regular exposure and darkroom procedures as well as digital editing programs. So, what does all this mean? For me, at least, it means that when you are out and about and you get the feeling that something is watching you, well then, something probably is!   

One of my favorite places to photograph is around El Capitan Meadow in Yosemite National Park. A few years ago there was a controlled burn in and around the meadow. I have visited the park several times after the burn and have observed the regeneration of trees and grasses. There is still evidence of trees that had burned. I had walked pass the log pictured above and turned around to take a look up at the face of El Capitan. As I looked back down,, I noticed it resembled a face of some kind and thought it would be a good addition to my Faces of Nature collection. I enjoy hearing what people see in this photograph.