Half Dome from the Yosemite Valley Floor

Half Dome and the famous elm tree in Cook’s Meadow

Half Dome is hard to miss in Yosemite as it can dominate the skyline from Tunnel View all the way to Olmstead Point. As you drive into the valley it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Here are some of my favorite locations to capture this iconic rock formation.

My favorite time and place to photograph Half Dome is at sunset on the Sentinel Bridge (I am not the only one). It can be very crowded at sunset. We were there for Fall color so the Merced river was running very slowly, not like it does in the Spring time. It is a great location to capture a reflection and the last bit of sunlight glow on the Half Dome.

Monochrome of the elm tree and Half Dome from Cook’s Meadow

My second favorite location on the valley floor is Cook’s Meadow. It’s especially ideal if it is crowded. There is ample parking and the meadow is large. It also has just a few trails as most of the meadow is protected from foot traffic. If you are shooting in the middle of the day, remember to try black and white as well as color images.

Monochrome of Half Dome from the Ahwahnee Meadow.
Found some Fall color in the Ahwahnee Meadow

The Ahwahnee Meadow is near the end of the valley and is bordered by Ahwahnee Road and Northside Road. There is plenty of room to roam and find foreground subjects to add into your photograph of Half Dome or a great place to zoom in on the rock itself.

Best Location NOT on the Valley Floor

If you have the time and inclination, then the best close-up view of Half Dome is from Glacier Point. It’s an hour’s drive from Yosemite Village and usually very crowded at sunset, so be prepared and get there early.

Half Dome sunset from Glacier Point

Take a look at this blog post to see more locations to photograph sunset in Yosemite – Three Sunsets in Yosemite.

To see more of and buy our photographs, please go to www.pamphotography.com and check out more of our photos on FLICKR.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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