I always wanted to shoot Yosemite on a rainy day and after looking at the wonderful moods captured in the valley by many Bay Area Photographers, I decided to watch the rain at Yosemite instead of watching it from my home at Fremont. Coming from a place that is just 100 miles away from the place that receives the highest rainfall in the world, it was hard for me to pass on this opportunity. A typical Yosemite Sunrise trip starts at around 2 am from the Bay Area unless you live closer to the park. And so we started at 1:30 am in the morning, all ready to spend the entire day at Yosemite. Sunrise was never in the plan as it was suppose to rain all day and I was mentally prepared for the worst outcome. I just wanted the “fog in the valley” shot. So, I and my dad did the 4 hour journey without much trouble. His talks did a good job of keeping me awake.

After reaching Yosemite, I was quite surprised to see that there was no rain or probably the rain took a small break at the sunrise hour. There were beautiful clouds and more clouds were getting blown into the valley creating the perfect recipe for a killer sunrise. Some photographers were already lined up and I immediately joined the swarm. The sky burnt for a very small time producing beautiful orange fast moving clouds. A 30 second exposure gave a beautiful cloud motion. And soon it was all over. After another 15 mins mysteriously a group of clouds showed up over the valley and it started to light up. And before I could setup the gear again, the whole sky exploded with colors. Without loosing a moment, I kept shooting alternately from both my cameras, a D600 + 24-70mm and the D800E + 14-24mm, to make sure I got it covered for all possible compositions. Treats like this are rare and God knew I was hungry…..

Fire From Hell and Mist From Heaven

After shooting the sunrise, I decided not to create a chaos in the park and made up my mind to just one shooting spot for the whole day. Yes, you heard it right, I, my Dad and the two tripods were at the same spot since morning 5am till evening 5pm. We were treated to a spectacular sunrise which was not on the list of expectations, a beautiful rainbow that paid a visit from the wrong direction and some super cool mist action.

The Inspiration Point

Around noon, suddenly the Sun God Showed up and it did cast a rainbow on the mountains behind the parking lot. I could only wish for it to show up over the valley. With this hope I decided to stay all day in the valley even though my brain told me – “Go back home, you had a great sunrise. Go get some sleep…”

Men at Work
Thanks to Terry Stidger and Mary Beth Bowman for the image. I am trying to blend into the nature under my ultra bright green umbrella. Mary is standing right next to me.

I was so tempted to shoot a timelapse of the dynamic mood the valley was creating but didn’t want to do it as I am not very good at it. Finally, I decided to give it a go as I had a third body lying in my car. My dad did a massive job of releasing the shutter 1975 times, needless to say I left the timer back at home. So, here is a beautiful view of the Tunnel View from Yosemite National Park on a rainy day adorned by rising mist from the ground creating an everlasting memory. Hope you enjoy the view.

And here is the link to the 720p version of the time lapse on youtube.

While everyone waited for the valley fog to clear up making way for a much needed sunset, knowing each other was everyone’s top business and we all did well in it. Made friends and treasured some breath taking views. All in all, a great day to be a photographer.

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