The Spirit in us All

PhotographerAubra Franklin
PrizeNature / Landscape_N
Entry Description

It was a cool spring evening when I got to the lookout and the anticipation of the first view from Glacier Point above Yosemite Valley, in California. It is located on the south wall of Yosemite Valley at an elevation of 7, 214 above Curry Village. The point offers a superb view of Yosemite National Park’s Yosemite Valley, including Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Vernal Falls, Nevada Fall, and Clouds rest. If ever there was one viewpoint the captures the grandeur and beauty of the park, this is it. Situated at the end of the 30-mile Glacier Point Road, it was the beginning of the Giant Stairway. This series of over 400 steps carved into rock. The spectacular beauty of Glacier Point was magnificent as the mountain formation rose toward the heavens. Basked in the sunlight it was awe-inspiring to look upon. The beauty of this creation was finished with a spectacular lenticular cloud display. The view was breathtaking and reminded me of a quote by Albert Einstein where he said,” Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better”.

About Photographer

San Antonio based photographer Aubra Franklin has spent the past decade traveling the world in pursuit of magical moments, a spectacular sensation he calls soul light. His majestic images of landscapes are not only the result of perfect timing, exotic locales, and expert compositions, but reveal the photographer’s keen sense of space and depth. As a professionally trained architect, Aubra sees beyond flora and fauna in a beautiful landscape. Thirty years of experience designing and building have informed his distinct perspective on natural phenomena and epic destinations. As a student he became engrossed in architectural photography and over the years gradually expanded his repertoire beyond illustrious monuments and celebrated buildings to include images of magnificent seascapes and idyllic woodlands. Much like an architect meticulously visualizes his design long before pencil is put to paper, Aubra visualizes how a particular sight and feeling will appear on a print, to capture billowing clouds and towering canyons. Through his lens a grove of flowering trees becomes a collection of grandiose columns and cornices. Aubra’s diverse portfolio ranges from photographs of remote Croatian waterfalls to the soaring Maroon Bells Mountains. His travels have allowed him to capture the serendipity of a perfect sunrise in Utah’s Canyonlands, and the serenity of ships at sea near the Galapagos Islands. Each trip provides viewers with the opportunity to witness Aubra’s vision of landscapes as natural architecture and to experience the mysterious wonders of nature. Aubra’s work has been regarded as, “exemplary in both composition and spirit,” by his private collectors, which range from entrepreneurial moguls and cattle barons to creative directors and curators. His limited-series works have attracted much attention, with collectors vying for multiple pieces. “I’m not surprised by the desire for Aubra’s work,” says mentor and friend, Jeff Mitchum. “In architecture, you have to be spot on.