Yosemite National Park


Located in the central Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, Yosemite is arguably the most-visited, most renowned of the National Parks in the United States, if not the world.

About ten million years ago the granitic crust of the earth uplifted and tilted to begin forming what would become the mighty Sierra Nevada mountains of California. About one million years ago glaciers moved through the central Sierra, carving deep valleys in the tilted granite as they moved down existing stream valleys. Ice in these glaciers was over four thousand feet deep in some areas. Eight thousand years ago the forefathers of the Miwok peoples first settled in the midst of the Merced River valley, developing an agrarian culture whose imprint is visible in the broad meadows of the valley to this day. In 1864 President Abraham Lincoln took time out from the miseries of the ongoing American Civil War to sign a bill granting Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias to the State of California as an inalienable public trust, and what would eventually become Yosemite National Park was born.

Yosemite is many things to many folk, three and a half million of them visit every year. Most of them visit during the summer months, which is why I tend to visit when it's cold in the winter. I have averaged a visit a year in Yosemite for every year of my life.

Please note that all images and markup on this page are by and copyright © Paul J. Lorona unless otherwise stated.
Please do not use any image from this page without the express written permission of the copyrighted owner.



Perhaps the most famous icon of the entire park, Half Dome rises over 4,700 feet above the Valley floor to a peak elevation of 8,844 feet. This view looks east from the west edge of the Ahwahnee Meadow on 30 December 2009. Taken with my 20D and the kit lens at 38mm focal length, ISO400, f/9 at 1/200th.



The other icon of the park, the falls of Yosemite Creek. The falls total 2,425 feet in three drops, the tallest of which is the upper drop at 1,430 feet, making Yosemite Falls the sixth tallest waterfall in the world. This view looks north from near the west end of the "swinging bridge" across the Merced River. This bridge is located south-southwest of the lodge complex in the southeast corner of Leidig Meadow. Taken with the Fuji 1800 3 December 2005.



Another view of Half Dome, from west of Yosemite Village near the apple orchard looking east 30 December 2009. Taken with the 20D and the standard lens at 28 mm focal length, ISO 400, f/8 at 1/160th.



Looking east across the Merced River and the north end of Bridalveil Meadow at El Capitan (left) and the west end of Cathedral Rocks (right) on the morning of 4 December 2005. El Capitan is reputed to be the largest single chunk of granite in the world, rising 3,000 feet above the valley floor to an apex of 7,573 feet above sea level. It is a favorite destination of rock climbers from the world over. Taken with the Fuji 2800 at 6 mm focal length, ISO 100, f/8.2.



Leidig Meadow on the morning of 2 December 2005, looking southwest towards the "gunsight" in the Cathedral Rocks. The bulk of El Capitan rises on the right. Taken with the Fuji 2800 at 6 mm focal length, ISO 100, f/8.2.



Looking sharply up at Columbia Rock from near the apple orchard west of Yosemite Village on a cloudy day, 30 December 2009. Taken with the 20D and the standard lens at 30 mm focal length, ISO 400, f/11 at 1/320th.



A late morning view looking south down the drainage of Yosemite Creek towards the Merced River, in the vicinity of Lower Yosemite Falls along the trail leading from the lodge complex to the base of the falls. Taken 29 December 2009 with the 20D and the standard lens, 18 mm focal length, ISO 1600, f/8 at 1/200th.



This is not my picture. Rather it is taken by my son Adam using his (then) brand new Canon Rebel XT with a kit lens, and is an example of his fine sense of composition as this image is neither cropped nor edited. The view is southwest along the frontage road west of Yosemite Village on the late afternoon of 30 December 2005. Focal length 18 mm, ISO 100, f/5.6 at 1/30th.
Image copyright © Adam C. Lorona.



Yosemite Creek from the foot bridge to the north of Northside Drive between Yosemite Village and the lodge complex. Taken with the 20D and the standard lens on 30 December 2009, 28 mm focal length, ISO 400, f/5.6 at 1/80th.



If the clouds weren't there you would see the Lost Arrow, Yosemite Point, and The Castle (part of which is visible center right). Taken from near the apple orchard west of Yosemite Village 30 December 2009 looking due north using the 20D and the standard lens, 28 mm focal length, ISO 400, f/11 at 1/400th.



Those of you who know me know I can't resist a picture of my kin somewhere in an album, and with the rich variety of fauna that populates Yosemite it's not difficult to get a few examples. This young lady's image was captured by Adam using his Rebel XT in late December of 2006 while she was out in search of some breakfast near Yosemite Lodge. Unfortunately I do not have the source data to be able to relate camera settings.
Image copyright © Adam C. Lorona.



One of the few images I've captured using the "big telephoto" lens, which accurately captures my reason for buying it. This little guy was hunting for food near our room at the lodge complex around mid-day 31 December 2009. Taken with the 20D and the big telephoto, focal length 400 mm, ISO 400, f/5.6 at 1/80th,



And this young lady is a Mule Deer ( Odocoileus hemionus ). This particular example was looking for an evening snack directly in front of the Park Headquarters building 9 December 2006, where we were waiting for a shuttle bus to take us back to the lodge. The sun had set, and as is typical in mountain country, darkness came on quickly. There was very little light left when Adam took this image with his trusty Rebel XT, using the built-in flash which seemed to bother our friend here not a bit. The doe was quite cooperative, taking the initiative to come up within three or four feet of Adam while he snapped several images of her. Again I do not have the source data to be able to relate camera settings.
Image copyright © Adam C. Lorona.



"Sunlight and Shadow." Frost had formed on the deck of the "swinging bridge" across the Merced River at the east end of Leidig Meadow overnight, and when this image was captured the frost was still present in the shadows cast by the railings of the bridge. Taken 3 December 2005 with the Fuji 1800 (I think).



Another mood picture from Adam and his Rebel XT with a kit lens, taken along Highway 41 between Chinquapin and Wawona 4 December 2005. The National Park Service fire suppression crews were conducting controlled burns of the undergrowth and dead timber all along the highway all through this area. Focal length 25 mm, ISO 400, f/4 at 1/250th.
Image copyright © Adam C. Lorona.



I'm not normally one to take and promote pictures of my pups, but in my opinion this is a cute picture no matter whose pups or kits or cubs we're talking about. Taken in the woods just east of Royal Arch Creek and the Ahwahnee Hotel, Katie and Adam and I found a pile of leaves that were just too irresistible. As you can see, some things about childhood never change. Taken 7 December 2002 with the Fuji 2800, focal length 13 mm, ISO 100, f/2.8.



This is the full color version of the background image of this album. This is the vista from Discovery View at the east end of the Wawona Tunnel on Highway 41 as it descends into Yosemite Valley. It was taken 4 December 2005 using the Fuji 2800, focal length 6 mm, ISO 100, f/8.2.



See ya later!
Taken by my youngest pup Katie with her Canon PowerShot A95 on the trail between Leidig Meadow and the lodge complex, 2 December 2005. Focal length 23 mm, f/4.9 at 1/60th. This image is greatly enlarged and cropped from the original.
Image copyright © Kathryn A. Lorona.


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