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A photography book focusing on the people rather than the nature at Yosemite National Park.
A photography book focusing on the people rather than the nature at Yosemite National Park.
191 backers pledged $22,197 to help bring this project to life.

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YOSEMITE PEOPLE
by Jonas Kulikauskas

Ranger Ben Cunningham-Summerfield
Ranger Ben Cunningham-Summerfield

According to the National Park Service, Yosemite has more than 4 million annual visitors supported by thousands of local rangers, workers, and volunteers.  

This makes Yosemite a shifting metropolis.

I was inspired to explore this “city” and bring my street photography to the wilderness. I wanted to offer an unexpected perspective on this World Heritage Site and preserve a moment in American history.

Tenaya Lake, Summer 2014
Tenaya Lake, Summer 2014

I shot 150 rolls of black and white film during nineteen visits to the Park from January 2014 through May 2016. I defined Yosemite People as anyone within the formal boundaries of the Park and limited myself to this area without special access or privileges. For the most part, my approach is to remain invisible, shooting life as I see it through a fixed 50mm lens.

Yosemite Valley, Summer 2014
Yosemite Valley, Summer 2014

To maximize experiencing a breadth of people, I stayed in a wide variety of public places: Yosemite Lodge by the Falls, the canvas tents of Curry Village, the historic Wawona and Ahwahnee hotels. I woke to the sounds of rangers chasing a bear at Housekeeping Camp, and slept in the back of my pick up truck at Upper Pines Camp Ground. In the summer I drove up to the remote Hetch Hetchy Valley, spent sunny days on the white sands at Tenaya Lake, and hiked 8miles to Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp. I gave my best to capture it all: the crowds clamoring to catch the perfect shot at Tunnel View, couples kissing at Glacier Point, and families cooling off in Tenaya Creek. I also tried things out of my comfort zone: Horseback riding to Mirror Lake, tram tours around Mariposa Grove, and skiing at Badger Pass. To truly immerse myself in the project, I hiked the 17-mile loop and pulled myself up 600 feet of steel cables to the summit of Half Dome.

Half Dome, October 2014, (silver gelatin print available in various sizes  8"x10", 11"x14", 16"x20" depending on reward chosen)
Half Dome, October 2014, (silver gelatin print available in various sizes 8"x10", 11"x14", 16"x20" depending on reward chosen)

This project was supported in part from a Samsung Faculty Enrichment Grant from ArtCenter College of Design.

The Book

 2016 marks the 100-year anniversary of the National Park Service and the Yosemite People book honors this fact with a carefully edited selection of 100 photographs with a collection of essays, interviews, and stories from amazing Yosemite People I met along the way.

Contributors include:

Ann Lucke, Editor Managing Editor (former), J Paul Getty Trust. Managing Editor (former) Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Carol McCusker, PhD Curator of Photography, Harn Museum.
McCusker’s essay speaks to the quality of the photographs and puts the project into historical context.

Kevin Starr, PhD Author, Historian, California State Librarian Emeritus.
Starr reflects on working his way through college in the summers of 1959-61. 

Shelton Johnson, Ranger, Buffalo Soldier Specialist, featured on Ken Burn’s documentary, America’s Best Idea.
Interview: 22 year Yosemite veteran shares candid thoughts on contemporary park culture.

Phillip Johnson Ranger, Cultural Demonstrator.
Interview: Johnson offers his perspective and ancestral heritage as Yosemite’s first people.

Ben Cunningham-Summerfield, Park Ranger, Cultural Demonstrator.
 Ranger Ben tells the story of Tank, a bear he was forced to euthanize. 

Theresa Ho, Long-term Yosemite resident.
A hike goes wrong. Ho recounts breaking her back only to be airlifted out by the Yosemite Search and Rescue Team.

Orlando Soria, Interior Designer.
Raised in Yosemite, son of the dentist, Soria shares his difficult life decision to leave the valley.

Jessica Kennedy, Writer.
Straight out of school, this North Carolina native offers impressions of her first year living in Yosemite.

Lynne and Ross Knox, Mule Packers.
This husband and wife team left Arizona to work together, packing mules and leading teams at Yosemite Stables.

J.R. Gehres, Manager, Curry Village Stables and Mountain Manager at Badger Pass.
Interview: This confirmed cowboy and wrangler offers a glimpse of what life working at Yosemite Stables looks like.

Chuck Carter, Manager, Badger Pass Ski School.
Carter shines a light on his mentor, Nic Fiore, the French Canadian who kick-started the ski culture at Badger Pass.

Ruth Ann Canterbury Adams, Nurse (former).
Canterbury Adams shares insights into life as a nurse at Yosemite Medical Clinic in 1959.

Stanley Valim, Groundskeeper, Wawona Hotel.
Interview: Valim gives up his 3 best things to do in Yosemite and recalls chance encounters with movie stars and the Queen of England.

Jonas Kulikauskas, Photographer, Yosemite People.Kulikauskas describes his day of hiking up Half Dome for the first time.

Yosemite People book cover design concept
Yosemite People book cover design concept

Book specifications

  • Yosemite People by Jonas Kulikauskas
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-9973951-4-3
  • 156 pages
  • 12"x11"
  • Hard cover with 100 black and white photographs
    (offset lithography duotone plates)
  • Premium 150gsm paper stock
  • 14 essays, interviews, and stories  
interior spread design featuring Tuolumne Stables
interior spread design featuring Tuolumne Stables

Photography specifications

  • Film: Kodak TMAX 400 
  • Camera: Leica M6
  • Lens: 50mm, 2.2 Sumicron
  • Silver gelatin print editions on Ilford fiber, heavy weight, gloss paper

Risks and challenges

Setting Expectations around printing and shipping

The biggest challenge is reconciling initial start-up production costs to publish a quality fine art photography book–that’s the purpose of this crowd source fund raising effort!

To maintain Quality control of the books I’m using award-winning photography book printers in Lithuania who have strong references and samples. I have tested this printer through other book projects with great results. To further ensure a smooth process I am hiring an independent production artist to team with the printer for the best reproduction quality possible. I also plan on being present for a press check to sign-off on the final wet proofs.

As with anything else, items can be held up at shipping stations and/or customs. To combat shipping will be divided between air and land to minimize risk.

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    1,000 Thanks!

    I thank you and you become a member of the exclusive 10,000 Thanks team!

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    YOSEMITE HONORS!!!

    If you have lived, worked, or volunteered in Yosemite National Park for at least 30 days since January 1, 2014...AND...you promise to share-Your name will be listed in the Yosemite People book (how best to authenticate? Simple: HONOR SYSTEM :-)

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    Thank you for being a Silver Supporter!

    Listed as a Silver Supporter on the Yosemite People web site!

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    Your name in the Yosemite People book

    Yes! Your name will be listed in the first edition of the Yosemite People book along other Kickstarter patrons as a supporter of this epic project!

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    Yosemite People book

    Yosemite People Book

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    Yosemite People book signed by artist

    A limited edition numbered and signed Yosemite People book

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    2 YP books and limited edition postcard!

    2 copies of the Yosemite People book and a limited edition, signed, Yosemite People postcard mailed from...you guessed it, Yosemite National Park! The perfect gift!
    (free shipping and handling in USA...outside US separate cost)

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    3 YP books and 8"x10" silver print!

    3 Yosemite People books
    1 limited edition 8"x10"" silver gelatin print of Half Dome (image size approx 5"x 7.5")

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    4 YP books and 11"x14" silver print!

    4 Yosemite People books
    1 limited edition 11"x14" gelatin silver print of Half Dome (image size approx 6"x9")

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    4 YP books and 11"x14" silver print!

    4 Yosemite People books
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    5 YP books and 16"X20" silver print!

    5 Yosemite People books
    1 limited edition 16"x20" silver gelatin print of Half Dome (image size approx 11.5" x 17")

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    Yosemite People Presentation

    An hour-long slideshow presentation of Yosemite People with additional Q&A (includes 5 Yosemite People books). Invite your friends or put together the perfect client event!
    Notes:
    A. Supporter responsible for venue
    B. Extra expense TBD for venue outside 100 mile radius of Los Angeles county

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    Your portrait and fun in Yosemite!

    Meet me in Yosemite. We'll start with lunch, afternoon sight-seeing, I'll take your portrait, and send you a silver print and high resolution scanned file. Includes 3 Yosemite People books.

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    Yosemite People Collection 11"x14"

    10 silver gelatin prints
    limited edition of 10 ea 11x14"
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    10 Yosemite books

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    Yosemite People Collection 16"x20"

    10 silver gelatin prints
    limited edition of 10 ea 16"x20"
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Funding period

- (30 days)