Yosemite National Park thumbnails only

Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park
 

This Bridalveil Falls view is from "Bridalveil Falls View" which is of course in Yosemite National Park. Bridalveil Falls View, on Northside Drive in the Yosemite Valley, is a great late-day photography location.


 
40mm  f/9.0  1/100s  ISO 100
Yosemite National Park High Country Yosemite National Park High Country
 

I timed my trip to Yosemite National Park with a couple of key points in mind. I wanted to go before kids got out of school as this park gets extremely crowded during peak season. I wanted to be able to get to Glacier Point and I wanted to be able to go across Tioga Pass to the east side of the park. This meant pushing the arrival date to later so that snow removal can take place.
 
My early June timeframe did not plan on the 200%-of-normal snowpack in 2011. My timing was partially successful, but Tioga Pass did not open for another 6 weeks or so after I arrived. Glacier Point opened on the day I arrived.
 
The snow banks along the road to Glacier Point were up to 15 feet high or higher. This snow pack of course took hiking the Glacier Point area off of the agenda. I was not too disappointed as the views from Glacier Point are amazing. And, the waterfalls that dry up later in the year were raging.
 
Here I use a telephoto lens to capture the sun shining through a snowstorm hitting the Yosemite National Park high country. The 1/400 shutter speed I used appears much faster than needed for this shot, but - I was dealing with extreme wind speeds.


 
135mm  f/5.6  1/400s  ISO 100
Upper Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park Upper Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park
 

Upper Yosemite Falls in rages as the biggest snow pack in 70 years melts from the Yosemite National Park high country. The sun shining through clouds provided unique lighting for the falls. I framed this image so that the lines of the stone valley walls angled or curved throughout the composition.


 
102mm  f/8.0  1/100s  ISO 100
Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park
 

Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park is an iconic scene, which of course means that this scene is common in photographs. However, the quantity of images captured here does not diminish the beauty of the scene or the images captured here.
 
If visiting Yosemite National Park, Tunnel View is a must-see viewpoint. And getting to this viewpoint is quite easy. When entering the Yosemite Valley from the south on Wawona Rd (Rt 41), be ready to turn left into a usually-crowded small parking lot immediately after exiting the tunnel. If that lot is full, try the next lot on the right.


 
24mm  f/8.0  1/200s  ISO 100
Forest Fire Regeneration, Yosemite National Park Forest Fire Regeneration, Yosemite National Park
 

This area in Yosemite National Park is regenerating after a forest fire. Fire-darkened trees and their shadows strongly contrast with the bright new growth. And of course, a granite backdrop is not hard to find in Yosemite National Park.


 
24mm  f/11.0  1/30s  ISO 200
Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park
 

This is Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park after a 200%-of-normal snow pack winter - reportedly the most snow in 70 years. Keeping the lens dry enough to shoot with was a challenge.
 
The unique coloration of the rock is natural.


 
58mm  f/8.0  1/60s  ISO 100
Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park
 

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls are two of the most visible Yosemite National Park falls. This view, with the Acorn Woodpecker-holed tree, is from Cook's Meadow.


 
24mm  f/11.0  1/40s  ISO 160
Valley View, Yosemite National Park Valley View, Yosemite National Park
 

In this Valley View picture, the Merced River flows through the foreground with El Capitan and Bridalveil Falls being the most notable background elements.
 
This image is a composite consisting of two images. A properly-exposed image was used for the background. A much longer exposure was used to create the motion-blurred river in the foreground. The foreground image brightness was then reduced during post processing - so that it looked natural when merged.


 
24mm  f/8.0  .4s  ISO 100
Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park Picture Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park Picture
 

Vernal Falls is one of the most popular Yosemite National Park attractions - and for a good reason. This shot was obviously taken from the top of the falls - while leaning on a fence. The area just above the falls features a lot of smooth granite rock - that invites playing in the water there. However, that is a very bad idea as Yosemite's granite is very slippery when wet. Signs warn of this danger.


 
24mm  f/11.0  1/80s  ISO 200
Yosemite Valley Chapel, Yosemite National Park Yosemite Valley Chapel, Yosemite National Park
 

The Yosemite Valley Chapel is a must-shoot subject in Yosemite National Park. A cloudy day provided soft lighting for my chapel picture. For this composition, I kept grass along the entire bottom of the frame and granite across most of the top. The sidewalk curves into the centered (and level) chapel, framed by trees - with the trunks on the right sweeping over the chapel.


 
60mm  f/8.0  1/20s  ISO 100
Yosemite National Park Granite Yosemite National Park Granite
 

Streaks of tan and black are not typically the first vision one has when thinking about granite, but Yosemite National Park's granite is beautiful. Capturing detail is a good job for a telephoto lens. This was a good cloudy-day composition.


 
300mm  f/8.0  1/20s  ISO 100
Giant Sequoias, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park Giant Sequoias, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park
 

A clump of immense sequoia trees grow up from the earth in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park. Shooting the sequoias under cloudy skies eliminates the hot spots that must be avoided on a sunny day.


 
35mm  f/11.0  .5s  ISO 100
Towering Pines and Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite National Park Towering Pines and Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite National Park
 

Pointing an ultra-wide angle lens upward will emphasize the diminishing line effect - causing these tall pines to slope noticeably inward while framing the large granite alls of Cathedral Rocks. I kept a clean, grass-only bottom edge of the frame and similarly, only sky and clouds intersect the top of the frame.


 
17mm  f/11.0  1/80s  ISO 100
Yosemite Valley, Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park Yosemite Valley, Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park
 

The Yosemite Valley, as seen from Tunnel View, is spectacular. In this frame, I used El Capitan and Bridalveil Falls to frame the valley. A late afternoon sun provides warm, direct light on the falls and walls while clouds throw interesting shadows into the frame.


 
67mm  f/8.0  1/200s  ISO 100
Yosemite National Park Ferns Yosemite National Park Ferns
 

Bright green ferns stand out in this burned-out forest in Yosemite National Park. The lighting was not favorable for grand landscape photography this morning, but the very overcast sky was ideal for photographing the forest floor.


 
17mm  f/11.0  1/4s  ISO 100
Reflection of Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite National Park Reflection of Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite National Park
 

Late May, after an unusually high snow pack, is not a good time to shoot reflections at Yosemite National Park. The Merced River was definitely not mirror-like. I was able to find this pond to get a reflective shot of the granite walls of Cathedral Rocks.
 
I was balancing on a log with my tripod in a couple of feet of water to make this image.


 
17mm  f/11.0  1/125s  ISO 100
Stellar Jay on Granite Stellar Jay on Granite
 

The light-colored Yosemite National Park granite contrasts nicely with the beautifully-colored Stellar Jay. The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens is not a good bird lens - unless the bird wants your lunch.
 
I liked this angle on the Stellar Jay because it shows a bit of the back coloration - the head turned slightly toward the camera makes this angle work for this shot.


 
105mm  f/9.0  1/250s  ISO 400
Snow Plant, Yosemite National Park Snow Plant, Yosemite National Park
 

An unusual plant found in Yosemite National Park is the snow plant. The snow plant, lacking any green for photosynthesis, feeds on fungi found in the soil. It often grows in the snow.
 
I was able to get even lighting on the forest floor by shooting well after sunset.


 
24mm  f/16.0  10s  ISO 100
Half Dome During Storm, Yosemite National Park Half Dome During Storm, Yosemite National Park
 

Timing is one of the laws of leadership. It also applies to photography. Timing can be planned, but it also happens by chance. On this day, I drove to Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park and was greeted with this scene. The next day, I talked to a photographer who spent 6 very cold hours waiting for the storm to clear enough to be able to simply see Half Dome. He gave up and left - just before I arrived.


 
108mm  f/8.0  1/30s  ISO 100
Vertical View of Upper Yosemite Falls Vertical View of Upper Yosemite Falls
 

When working a scene, try shooting both vertically and horizontally. In this case, I liked both variants - making selection of my favorites a problem.


 
105mm  f/8.0  1/80s  ISO 100
Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park
 

Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park holds many giant sequoia trees. Here, a young tree is dwarfed by the trunk of the sequoia.


 
105mm  f/11.0  .6s  ISO 100
Cook's Meadow, YNP Cook's Meadow, YNP
 

Dark shadows from large pines lead to the deep green Cook's Meadow in Yosemite National Park.


 
24mm  f/10.0  1/40s  ISO 100
Clear Evening at Glacier Point Clear Evening at Glacier Point
 

I seldom desire a clear sky for late day landscape photography, but sometimes must make the most of what I have to work with. For this image, I shot from a low position to cause an interesting pine tree growing out of the rocks to become an interesting silhouette in the blue sky. Half Dome does not need any help to be interesting, but the deep shadows around it help.


 
24mm  f/11.0  1/50s  ISO 100
El Capitan, Yosemite National Park El Capitan, Yosemite National Park
 

El Capitan rises out of the clouds in the Yosemite National Park valley. I kept this compsition simple, aiming to capture the drama of the weather conditions.


 
47mm  f/11.0  1/100s  ISO 100
Sunset at Tunnel View Sunset at Tunnel View
 

The late day sun shines under the clouds to light the Yosemite Valley as seen from Tunnel View. The hard shadows from the granite walls close in on Bridalveil Falls while El Capitan reaches over its neighboring walls.


 
50mm  f/9.0  1/40s  ISO 100
Layers of Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park Layers of Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park
 

The first layer in this Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park picture is a cold one - snow. Layers beyond the snow include Half Dome with a storm passing over it.


 
28mm  f/11.0  1/6s  ISO 100
El Capitan and Bridalveil Falls from Valley View El Capitan and Bridalveil Falls from Valley View
 

Valley View in Yosemite National Park is one of the best places to shoot El Capitan and Bridalveil Falls in the afternoon. While Yosemite offers opportunities for the most elite of athletic photographers, it is also a great place for those with difficulty getting around. Valley View is a small parking lot just off of Northside Dr. Many of the other great Yosemite National Park photo locations are similar.


 
40mm  f/8.0  1/40s  ISO 100
Lupines, Yosemite National Park Lupines, Yosemite National Park
 

A carpet of purple lupines front a dead tree and pine trunks in the forest behind. These lupines were near Wawona in Yosemite National Park.


 
96mm  f/16  1/4s  ISO 100
El Capitan Close-up El Capitan Close-up
 

El Capitan is so large that getting a closeup portrait of this mountain wall is not difficult.


 
108mm  f/8.0  1/320s  ISO 100
Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park
 

It was June 1st in the northern hemisphere, but I was shooting in light snow and temperatures were in the high 20s without wind chill factored in. More than light snow is hitting the top of Half Dome when this picture was captured.


 
70mm  f/16.0  1/8s  ISO 100
Vernal Falls, Yosemite NP Vernal Falls, Yosemite NP
 

The sight of Vernal Falls is well worth the hike required to get to it. Be prepared to get wet if the falls are flowing at full volume.


 
24mm  f/8.0  1/60s  ISO 100
Cloud Bank, Yosemite National Park Cloud Bank, Yosemite National Park
 

A huge cloud bank rolls in over the snow-pack-covered Yosemite National Park high country.


 
300mm  f/11.0  1/100s  ISO 100
Nevada Falls as Seen From Glacier Point Nevada Falls as Seen From Glacier Point
 

Driving to Glacier Point is a much easier way to see Nevada Falls than hiking Mist Trail to do the same. However, the latter will give you much more exercise.
 
For this shot, I aligned the silhouetted pine tree trunks so that Nevada Falls was framed and the bank of clouds were also framed. The shaded foreground provides a base for the composition. This image was cropped for a wide aspect ratio.


 
17mm  f/11.0  1/80s  ISO 100
California Ground Squirrel California Ground Squirrel
 

While California Ground Squirrels are not hard to find, they are somewhat difficult to capture in a nice photo - because they don't stop moving. At least the ones we encountered did not. This one wanted our lunch.
 
The downward perspective nicely shows the California Ground Squirrel's coloration and creates a smooth granite background.


 
105mm  f/7.1  1/250s  ISO 200
Lower Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park Lower Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park
 

This group of giant sequoia trees were located in Lower Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park. I love the color of this tree species' trunks - especially how they stand out from the green surroundings they are typically found in..


 
80mm  f/11.0  .4s  ISO 100
Yosemite National Park Mountain Top Yosemite National Park Mountain Top
 

A snow storm moves through the Yosemite National Park mountains. I framed this image so that the top and bottom of the frame were dark.


 
176mm  f/5.6  1/200s  ISO 100
Valley View Picture Valley View Picture
 

By this time of the day, when the sun provides the best light on the south wall of the Yosemite valley, the foreground at Valley View has gone into the shadows. I love to find great foregrounds to include with the much-easier-to-find great backgrounds. I did not feel greatly successful at this location, but liked this scene.


 
24mm  f/11.0  1/30s  ISO 100
Elm Tree, Cook's Meadow, YNP Elm Tree, Cook's Meadow, YNP
 

This photogenic elm tree is located in Cook's Meadow in Yosemite National Park. The meadow (more like a swamp) adds more bright green to the already green frame.


 
24mm  f/11.0  1/25s  ISO 100
Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park
 

Nevada Falls in Yosemite National Park is reached via the Mist and John Muir Trails. I can't speak regarding the John Muir trail, but the Mist Trail is somewhat challenging due to the distance and elevation gain. This trail, when the Merced River is flowing strongly, is worth every ounce of the effort.


 
24mm  f/11.0  1/40s  ISO 200
Dead Tree with Moss Dead Tree with Moss
 

Brightly colored moss grows on the limbs of the red trunk of this dead tree. A live tree in the background somewhat mirrors the dead tree. This photo was taken on the Mist Trail above Vernal Falls.


 
105mm  f/8.0  1/40s  ISO 100
Lupine Meadow, Yosemite National Park Lupine Meadow, Yosemite National Park
 

This lupine meadow is near Wawona in southern Yosemite National Park. The bright green and purple colors called to me.


 
24mm  f/11.0  1/6s  ISO 100
Jagged Peaks of Yosemite Jagged Peaks of Yosemite
 

Clouds roll through these jagged peaks seen from Cook's Meadow in the Yosemite Valley.


 
47mm  f/8.0  1/200s  ISO 100
End of the Day, Glacier Point, YNP End of the Day, Glacier Point, YNP
 

A late day sun shining through the peaks of Yosemite National Park illuminates the high country and the remaining snow pack on it.


 
300mm  f/8.0  1/100s  ISO 100
Yosemite Falls Yosemite Falls
 

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls as seen from Cook's Meadow. A vertical orientation allows a longer focal length to be used to capture both falls. This makes the falls larger in the composition - emphasizing them.


 
58mm  f/8.0  1/50s  ISO 160
Cook's Meadow, Yosemite National Park Cook's Meadow, Yosemite National Park
 

The bright green plant life in the Cook's Meadow wetlands adds a welcome color to images captured here.


 
24mm  f/8.0  1/200s  ISO 100
Trail to Mirror Lake Trail to Mirror Lake
 

I didn't find Mirror Lake too exciting the day I hiked to it, but I liked the cloud formations and shadows that arrived during the hike back.


 
24mm  f/10.0  1/60s  ISO 100
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