Buried deep in the western Sierra Nevada Mountains of California lies a place that resembles most people’s idea of heaven. Here towering granite mountains stand like great castle walls, home to plentiful waterfalls that cascade into deep valleys and meadows below. Being synonymous with John Muir and Ansel Adams, Yosemite National Park has grown in popularity as its dazzling views and aesthetics now draw roughly four million visitors annually; with the majority spending their time in the world-famous Yosemite Valley.
These inquiring visitors from across the globe seek out Yosemite as some of the most iconic rock formations and nature scenes on earth are found here. The list goes on and on: Half Dome, El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, Gates of the Valley and Tunnel View to name just a few. The aesthetic nature of all this beauty naturally attracts the eye and stokes the creative fires in the soul and spirit of photographers, artists, adventurers, alike. The Tunnel View is often the first view of the Valley for many visitors, and is particularly admired by photographers as it is truly one of those scenes that have been seen on things like postcards and wall calendars, but here and now in person for the very first time.
El Capitan, a prominent granite monolith that looms over Yosemite Valley is one of the most popular rock climbing destinations in the world, but is also a prominent and world-famous photographic subject. An image of Half Dome, standing 3,000 feet above the valley floor at twilight, with the Merced River in the foreground is an unforgettable image lusted after by nature photographers from across the globe.
This is a place unrivaled by any other in its awe-striking majesty, and is incredibly diverse and interesting no matter the season. As springtime brings high country snow melt, Yosemite’s waterfalls rush to life invoking scenes like perhaps no other in the world. This time of year also provides for a wealth of alpine wildflowers and the reflection of rainbows off of the mists of the various falls. As the calendar moves to autumn, it brings with it soft light and vibrant colors making for superb landscape photography opportunities. The foliage is brilliant with reds and gold, reflecting off of glassy still ponds. Three groves of ancient giant sequoia trees provides a sharp green compliment to the forest colors. This species grows larger in volume than any other and is one of the tallest and longest-lived.
Winter in Yosemite remains a somewhat well kept secret. Crowds of people give way to the silent winter’s majesty. The light is beautiful here in the winter and the colors are vibrant making for superb snowy landscapes. With more open spaces, animals are feel more free to roam (and be seen). Snow acting as frosting for your photographic “cake.” A photographic and natural wonderland, Yosemite provides any photographer lucky (or clever) enough to visit this heaven a highly expanded portfolio of excellent images and a wealth of memories.