Yosemite Photos – key attractions and landscapes

 Yosemite Photos – key attractions and landscapes

Yosemite Photos - key attractions and landscapes

Early morning light on Yosemite Valley

Yosemite National Park

“No temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. Every rock in its walls seems to glow with life…Awful in stern, immovable majesty, how softly these rocks are adorned, and how fine and reassuring the company they keep: Their feet among beautiful groves and meadows, their brows in the sky, a thousand flowers leaning confidingly against their feet, bathed in floods of water, floods of light.” – John Muir

We are drawn to nature especially in natural landscapes filled with amazing vistas and impressive landmarks. Yosemite is no exception, drawing over 4,000,000 visitors from around the world annually, it is a pilgrimage to those who love nature and exceptional national parks. Yosemite, designated a world heritage site in 1984, is so well-loved for its natural wonders, spectacular granite mountains and cliffs, impressive waterfalls, rivers and streams and is filled with biological diversity.  It is this unique environment, the park has an impressive 7,000 species of plants encompassing chaparral, mountain forest, sub alpine and alpine zones within the park.

I’m returning to visit one of my favorite national parks in California later in the year when the crowds have died down a bit, allowing ample space and photo opportunities to re-discovering her magnificent landscapes. It’s a special time for me to connect with nature, revel in her beauty, spectacular vistas and glorious monuments. I’m also inspired to photograph this place, to experiment and create some amazing imagery which I will be presenting in a series of upcoming posts.


Yosemite Photos - key attractions and landscapes

Late afternoon light on North Dome

Photographing nature at it’s best in Yosemite

Yosemite National park is filled with many attractions and iconic landscapes that are instantly recognizable.  Photos of Yosemite and it’s landmarks are taken from every angle imaginable and is one of the most highly photographed national parks in the world. It’s easy to return and visit each season to get a different feel and perspective of the seasonal changes. Visiting Yosemite as a photographer leaves so much to be inspired, to be creative and to see nature intimately. Outside of capturing the magnificent attractions, it’s a fun challenge to think creatively and present a personal viewpoint or perspective that captures something unique to present.  It may be something simple like capturing each landscape or panorama in a different light or time of day, presenting an  interesting angle or framed view, including wildlife, seasonal flowers or foliage,  including the foreground or different ranges in-depth of field. The possibilities are limitless as long as one comes with open eyes, loves to create and engages with the environment.


Yosemite Photos - key attractions and landscapes

North Dome in the early morning

A simple hike at Tenaya

Taking an easy hike along the valley floor up through Tenaya Canyon and Mirror lake is an easy introduction to Yosemite. Even though this is a popular hiking area, it is not so congested with tourists and immediately gets you in touch with nature and the gorgeous canyon views of Yosemite. With North Dome and Half Dome at the base of Tenaya Canyon, it doesn’t take long to see nature at her best looking from either side of the Merced river. Trails run along both sides of the river and it’s fun to explore one  side and then return on the other side to get a totally different view of the area.


Yosemite Photos - key attractions and landscapes

Tenaya Canyon and Mirror lake




Yosemite Photos - key attractions and landscapes

Mirror lake

 Iconic Yosemite landmarks


The main attractions you immediately find when driving around the valley floor loom so impressively in front of you – that you  have to stop immediately and gaze up at their commanding presence. These are the iconic landmarks of Yosemite: Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, the Three Brothers, North Dome, Cathedral Rocks and Toulumne Meadows all commanding impressive views within the valley floor.








Yosemite Photos - key attractions and landscapes

Morning light on Yosemite falls





Yosemite Photos - key attractions and landscapes

Panorama of Yosemite from Inspiration Point


“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.”

– Ansel Adams


Yosemite Photos - key attractions and landscapes

Morning light on El Capitan


Later in the afternoon the sky turns golden and twilight comes quickly through the canyon, it darkens quickly on the valley floor and the golden light over Yosemite is no more. You have to consciously take the effort to enjoy a beautiful sunset or even sunrise when you visit Yosemite, because it truly is special and will be in forged into your memories of this gorgeous place for a very long time. Here’s an image of Half Dome at sunset – stunning isn’t it?



Yosemite Photos - key attractions and landscapes

Half Dome at sunset


To read the next in the Yosemite series this next post is about the history of Yosemite and its early inhabitants. If you didn’t get to read the previous post, it’s about Yosemite’s sister canyon called Hetch Hetchy. please take a look if you haven’t had a chance to see these posts.


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25 Responses to Yosemite Photos – key attractions and landscapes

  1. Anda June 14, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

    Oh, I love your photos of Yosemite, Noel. Your post reminded me of the uniqueness of this place. I think I should go visit it again.

  2. Joyce August 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Inspiring!! So magnificent! Pinned to My Magnificent Mountains…Board

  3. phyllis oller August 17, 2013 at 4:17 am #

    Your photographs are breathtakingly beautiful,thank you for sharing with us,phyllis

  4. phyllis oller August 17, 2013 at 4:15 am #

    Breathtakingly beautiful photographs,thank you for sharing,phyllis

  5. Louis la Vache August 17, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    «Louis»thanks you for your visit to San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

  6. Peter B August 16, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Wow, spectacular photography!! Thanks for the tour, I really enjoyed it.

  7. Oakland Daily Photo August 16, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    I love Yosemite but it’s been years since I visited. So I like visiting through your photos. Thanks also for your visit and comment. Come by again when you can.

  8. Jess August 16, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    I love going to parks in the less visited seasons. I’ve never made it to Yosemite, though. The sunset is amazing!

  9. Eileen August 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Gorgeous Yosemite scenes and photos!

  10. Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen August 16, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    What fantastic images. I would love to visit Yosemite one day. You are a very talented photographer.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend.

  11. Hootin' Anni August 16, 2013 at 9:31 am #


  12. Alexander August 16, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Some very stunning photos here. I love the scenery of Yosemite. I think it is definitely going on my list of places to visit.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Alex’s World! – http://www.kakinan.com/alex

  13. magiceye August 16, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    Wow that was amazing!! The images and the commentary!

  14. Laura Hegfield August 16, 2013 at 2:15 am #

    Fantastic images, wow!

  15. Lady Fi August 16, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    How majestic and splendid!

  16. Irene August 16, 2013 at 12:05 am #

    Your Yosemite pictures are so inviting!

  17. Gran Canaria Local August 15, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

    Great snaps, Noel. We’re a big fan of black and white photos. So can’t wait to see these too.

  18. Mary Calculated Traveller August 15, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

    Gorgeous Noel…these photos really make me want to return to Yosemite. It’s been a while since I’ve last visited.

  19. Jennifer August 15, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    Lovely photos of Yosemite, Noel!

  20. tom August 15, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    great post! Yosemite looks truly amazing. I am visiting for the first time next month and really cannot wait to do a couple of hikes and just take in the beauty

  21. Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse August 15, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    I wanted to visit the park since I first saw pictures of it in my English textbook in Junior High! Thanks for the wonderful tour.

  22. Marilyn Armstrong August 15, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    Thanks. I have always wanted to see Yosemite. Those are the best pictures I’ve seen of it since Ansel Adams.

    • Noel August 15, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

      Aloha Marilyn,
      thanks so much for the kind words, I appreciate it, but wait till you see my black and whites coming up!


  1. Yosemite history and Indian culture, Travel Photo Mondays #8 | Travel Photo DiscoveryTravel Photo Discovery - August 18, 2013

    […] I’m writing a series of posts about Yosemite, here’s my previous photo essay of the key sites and landmarks in Yosemite, and this is my post about Yosemite’s sister valley, Hetch Hetchy reservoir and dam. Last, […]

  2. Hetch Hetchy reservoir and dam | Travel Photo DiscoveryTravel Photo Discovery - August 16, 2013

    […] The Hetchy Hetchy reservoir and dam had a controversial history with its completion of the O’Shaunessy dam in 1923 to supply San Francisco and it’s municipalities. Until present day, it is still contested and many actions are ongoing to try to return this magnificent valley back to its original state. There are many efforts from conservation groups but is quite an uphill battle involving many municipalities, cities and water rights advocates who need the water. Currently, this case has reached a recent judgement of the efforts to revert the site. This is the start of a series of posts covering my favorite park in California, Yosemite Valley, here’s the next post if you would like to continue reading the series. […]

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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