Yosemite Storm & Cloud Photography
On one hand, it’s hard to watch your beautiful, sunny day get swallowed up by dark, menacing clouds. On the other, you can adapt to your situation and end up with some once in a lifetime photos. I hope my Yosemite storm photography shows why valley thunderstorms are a blessing, not a curse…
Yosemite Storm Photos – El Capitan
Speaking of menacing, have a look at these clouds that overtook El Capitan one day while I was visiting Valley View Yosemite! Without a doubt, the photo below illustrates the beauty and contrast of Yosemite’s moods.
Seeing these dramatic, brooding shadows passing over valley icons such as El Capitan and Half Dome is something I planned all year for. Unlike most other locations, Yosemite thunderstorms are not an inconvenience. As a matter of fact, you’ll probably want a front row seat for one!
Half Dome in the Clouds
Surprisingly, on a nice day, this cloud creeping up over Half Dome appeared out of thin air (literally!). It almost looks like a hand, with fingers reaching up and grasping the face of Half Dome.
Surely this illustrates why it’s good to be patient when taking pictures in a place like Yosemite. Additionally, it’s good to have a long reaching lens. This shot was taken from far away at Glacier Point.
Yosemite Storm in the Valley
Yes, it’s definitely good to be prepared when visiting the park. After all, a perfect sunny day can transform into a dark and stormy scene in a matter of minutes. I was hiking to Inspiration Point one day when I turned around and saw how quickly these thick clouds had rolled in over Yosemite Valley.
Since too many (or not enough) clouds can equal boring, lifeless photos, it pays to be in the right place at the right time. For me during the past year, being based near the park was priceless.
For instance, I watched the weather religiously, and dropped everything to visit the park if I saw an incoming or clearing storm. That’s the best time to witness Yosemite’s stunning character & contrast.
Cloud Formations in the Hills
On this occasion, I noticed incredible, fuming clouds drifting up above the hills along Highway 120. Given that California had just endured a brutal forest fire season, I assumed there was another blaze up in the hills. Turns out it was just a beautiful, intense cumulus cloud formation!
As can be seen above, creeping clouds and filtered sunlight can transform even a simple hilltop scene into a dramatic work of art. Speaking of which, if you enjoyed this photo series, you might enjoy my fine art and black and white photography.
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About My Photos
The images on this website are available for licensing and/or sale as framed prints. If you’d like to purchase them for a blog, news article, or gift, feel free to contact me with the specifics. This way you’re supporting photographers such as me directly (as opposed to buying from a faceless stock photo corporation).
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– Nathan Allen
I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of YosemiteParkPhotos.com (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.