Yosemite National Park In Spring Glory

May 2021

Half Dome, El Capitan, the Merced River, Yosemite Falls and Dogwoods in bloom are all a reason to photograph in Yosemite National Park in May.

My good friend, Jess Lee (www.jessleephotos.com) and I made our way from the California Big Sur coast to Yosemite National Park.

See the previous post on Big Sur. The forecast was not looking too good as to having clouds, but that was pretty much expected for the month of May.

I had been there several times before, so I felt like I should not have to learn the park all over again. All of the National Parks are becoming very crowded during the summer tourist season. It was crowded, but not too bad, which I guess was due to us being there in the middle of May and not a month later.

The Dogwoods were in bloom, so that was one of the first targets to seek out. I was expecting to find them around the Ahwahee Hotel, like I did on a previous May visit. They weren’t there, but we did find some nice ones around Yosemite Falls and near the road to the north of there.

Morning Dogwoods
"Morning Dogwoods" - Prints Available


I had not previously photographed Yosemite Falls between the Pine trees, which frame it so nicely. Early morning before the sun rose was just the right time to keep the water from blowing out while doing a long exposure.

Parallel View
"Parallel View" - Prints Available


Early morning light along the Merced River resulted in some nice images of El Capitan on the other side of the river. I really enjoy finding some compositions away from the crowds at the iconic locations. The reflections of the trees really caught my eye.

Rock And River
"Rock and River" - Prints Available


While looking around for something different, I noticed the reflection of two Redwoood trees in the Merced River. I used a long exposure to capture the movement of the water going by. A little bit of an abstract photo, if you will.

Redwood Reflections
"Redwood Reflections" - Prints Available


We were hunting around for an image of Half Dome down the Merced River. There is another one that is commonly photographed near the Visitor Center but the trees were barren there. We kept hunting and found this location that I had not come across on previous trips. I love the feeling of the scene.

River To Half Dome
"River To Half Dome" - Prints Available



We were on our way up to Glacier Point for sunset and just had to stop at Tunnel View to photograph Half Dome with the stormy clouds.

Drama At El Capitan
Drama At El Capitan" - Prints Available


We were wandering around Swinging Bridge and I found this great composition of Yosemite Falls reflecting in the water under a tree. I had to get down in the mud a little, but it was fun and worthwhile.

Reflection Of The Falls
"Reflection Of The Falls" - Prints Available


At about 4pm, the sun hits Bridalveil Falls just right causing a beautiful rainbow of colors in the spray as it descends on the rocks below. If you like a bunch of color, here it is.

Rainbow Falls
"Rainbow Falls" - Prints Available


On our last day in Yosemite National Park, there were finally going to be some nice clouds at sunset at Glacier Point. It kept giving us different looks with magnificent light. I think this one was my favorite of the bunch.

Color Explosion
"Color Explosion" - Prints Available


With that, Jess and I headed for Fresno for our flights home. There were challenges, but in the end, we overcame and were able to add some nice images to our Fine Art Landscape Photography portfolios.

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook or Instagram for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. We appreciate all those that follow us. https://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography and https://www.instagram.com/josephfiler

Related Galleries

GRAND TETON NP GLACIER NP ZION NP