First Light, Yosemite Valley

Tunnel View is known as a sunset location, but with the right clouds it can be fantastic at sunrise too. On this frigid April morning, still air pooled in Yosemite Valley to form a dense, tree-hugging fog. Overhead a translucent layer of clouds stretched from horizon to horizon, spreading the light of the rising sun into an amber veneer that spread like butter above the entire scene. In the hundreds (thousands?) of times I’ve been here, I’ve never seen anything quite like this.

4 Comments on “First Light, Yosemite Valley

  1. Gary,

    I wanted to tell you that your color shots of Yosemite are some of the best I have ever seen. I can’t even remember how but I stumbled onto your blog and short of Ansel Adams this shot of (First Light of Yosemite Valley) is one of the best I have ever seen. In fact it may be the best I’ve ever seen including Ansel. I’ve spent the last 20 years digesting every Adams image I could find in a book and when I saw this image I was absolutely blown away. The composition, the light, everything about it is incredible. I’m ashamed to say I have not made it to Yosemite yet but some day before I die I will make it there. Thanks for sharing this image.


    • Thank you for your kind words, John. Yosemite is indeed an amazing place–you should definitely make it a point to get there. Winter, spring, and fall are the best seasons for photography, and also the best time to avoid the crowds.

  2. Wow, Gary that truly is a great shot of first light. I met you briefly at a art show in Auburn last year & was impress by your work. On this shot what type of camera & lens (setting) was use on this shot.
    Also what photo lab would you recommend to use?

    Thank you for sharing & I love your shot of the sand dune at death valley.


    • Thanks, Thomas. This image was captured with a Canon 24-105 on a Canon 1DS MkIII. I used ISO 100, f16, and 3/10 second.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: