Travel blog

Photography Tips for Yosemite: Shooting the National Park

Posted by YMT Vacations on Mar 29, 2016 9:50:03 AM

Yosemite National Park

There are few places as enchanting as Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain range. With waterfalls and majestic peaks, abundant wildlife and soaring sequoia groves, it is nature’s masterpiece. Capturing the beauty of places like Half Dome or El Capitan is the dream of every photographer and a magnificent reward for those lucky enough to visit. So, if your travel plans include this High Sierra landmark, make the most of your experience by capturing your memories in photos. Here are our top tips for photographing Yosemite National Park.

Don’t Miss Half Dome -- This iconic site has been the subject of photographer Ansel Adams and the logo for outdoor clothing giant, North Face. How lovely it would be to capture your own images of Half Dome shoot during sunset! For the best views, try the field opposite the Lower Yosemite Falls trail head, Glacier Point or the Merced River Spot located outside the Yosemite Village parking lot.

Zoom In -- Grand landscapes are synonymous with Yosemite, but smaller wonders like a wildflower clinging to a rock face can make for a great photo as well. Don’t forget to pull out your macro lens periodically to look for the story in a close-range image.

Visit the Grove -- The Mariposa Grove features giant sequoias that are thousands of years old. While you can shoot at any time of the day thanks to the cloud covering, the morning light tends to be best. Plus, you’ll beat the crowds as well.

The Images from Tunnel View -- The lookout point at Tunnel View affords sweeping landscape shots of the park. Try shooting at sunset or arriving early on a foggy morning to catch the mist blanketing the valley.

Oh Captain My Captain -- El Capitan is the massive granite face that greets you as you enter the valley. Watch for the daring rock climbers as you shoot this iconic peak. Since it is so large, you can catch great lighting whether you shoot at sunrise or sunset.

Catch the Flow -- The best way to capture the image of falling water is to use a slow shutter speed. Catch the magic of Yosemite’s waterfalls with long shutter speeds and allow the image of the water to flow through the frame. Yosemite Falls is the park’s iconic water feature, and actually consists of three interlocking falls. While you can shoot at any time during the day, if you happen to visit during the spring and arrive early in the morning, you might be able to shot a rainbow rising from the falls’ mist.

Three Brothers -- The Three Brothers is a trio of peaks in the center of the Yosemite Valley. Make sure to stop by on days with dramatic cloud covering or at and around sunset. The best viewing spot is at Sentinel Beach.


Yosemite is just one of the sights on YMT Vacations’ National Parks of the Golden West tour, an itinerary designed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our National Parks System. To make your plans to join us on your next journey, call your travel consultant or YMT Vacations at 1-888-756-9072.


Topics: US National Parks