For the last four summers I have called Yosemite National Park my home. During my time there, I have been able to observe and document the way the Park is able to transform the individuals.Within the park, a culture exists of an eclectic mix of employees, summer camping residents, hikers, and climbers.
Apart from the transient visitors to the California landmark, there is a smaller group –individuals who reside in Yosemite, who identify themselves as Yos-e-mites. A Yos-e-mite chooses to live an unconventional lifestyle because they are deeply connected to the natural landscapes. I identify with this community because, like them, I prefer long periods in the wilderness over a life with easily accessible modern conveniences. Beyond simply maintaining the park and keeping it safe for visitors, Yos-e-mites consider the park their home.
The landscape has changed them, there is a sense of belonging and transformation that is visible within their faces.