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  • Writer's pictureGina DeGirolamo

Field Notes: Shooting in Yosemite

I was reading through my journal this morning and came across an entry from November 2015 which was written in Yosemite National Park while shooting the Healing Heart™ TV episode Yosemite Comforts You.

While reading it I was inspired to share with you what I feel while I am shooting these films. It has been my belief that the healing energy of Mother Nature that I experience while shooting, actually transmits through the final film and it is my hope that you as the viewer picks up on that energy. Perhaps if you read my thoughts as I was on this filming expedition you will gain a sense of what it is like to be there.

The following is an excerpt from my journal entry on Sunday, November 22, 2015:

"We had to change campsites yesterday so now we're at Indian Flat Campground in El Portal which is 18 miles outside of the park. It is much brighter here due to the fact that we are not surrounded by the immense granite walls that create the womb of the valley.

Yesterday, I spent time filming El Capitan. It's such an awesome grand daddy of a a rock face. I could spend all day looking at him and Half Dome. The 2 of them are so unique and magnificent and together they compliment each other incredibly. El Cap is the perfect symbol of stoic strength while Half Dome has the feminine energy of love and comfort...

I realized yesterday that it is going to take time and a real commitment to capture these 2 in all their glory. I was getting a little frustrated and overwhelmed with my shooting expedition and then I remembered Ansel Adams and how it took him years to create his body of work, just on Yosemite. Who am I to think I can do it in a few short days?

There is a feeling I get inside when it is right. When my lens is pointed in the right direction, when the composition is pleasing, I get a feeling of calm, joy,'s the sweet spot. When I get that feeling I know I am capturing something special. Something unique to me. My soul is in alignment or more like I am in alignment with my soul and what it is here to capture.

I find it frustrating when I am not feeling it. Instead of feeling frustration I will look at it as my internal guidance system telling me to keep looking, keep hunting. It is that feeling that keeps me going and makes me want to continue to shoot, to capture. When I find it, when I hit the sweet spot, oh, a joy and a fulfillment overcomes me. A spark creates a smile and I know I have captured something special that I can bring back to share with others.

It is such a a privilege to be able to be in nature and create something that, if even for just a moment, brings a sense of peace and calm to others. I look forward to bringing you more insights from these filming expeditions.


Gina DeGirolamo is an award winning cinematographer with over 30 yrs. of film making experience. She is the founder and curator of Healing Heart™ TV.

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