Clearing storm over Yosemite Valley

Photo: Clearing storm at sunrise over Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California

Photo: Clearing spring snow storm at sunrise over Yosemite Valley as seen from Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California
Tunnel View is one of the most popular scenic vista pullouts in Yosemite Valley, affording visitors one of the best views in all of Yosemite National Park, and if not one of the most iconic vistas in all of America. Every morning and afternoon you'll find photographers lined up to get this breathtaking scenery overlooking Yosemite Valley and the famous landmarks of El Capitan and Half Dome off in the distance.

On this particular morning I was running late for sunrise, having been distracted by the moon hanging over the snow-covered Yosemite Valley in the pre-dawn light, following a late season storm. I arrived shortly after the sun had risen above the distant mountain ridges that form the sheer vertical walls of Yosemite Valley. It was amazing to witness the dance of light and gentle clouds as they filtered through the early morning sunlight.

One of the great ironies of this photo is that it is very rare for me to shoot from Tunnel View. I prefer looking for slightly more original, less iconic shots within Yosemite Valley; something other photographers will be less likely to have. A few weeks before this image a group of fellow photographer friends and I were joking about how you could take the most boring photo at Tunnel View and call it your best photo of Yosemite ever taken, and there would be plenty of folks who would believe you since the landscape truly is that dramatic. Oddly enough, here I was a few weeks later, only to return from that very same spot with one of the favorite photos I've taken of Yosemite Valley. :)

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