Cloud Machine

Equipment Info
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
70mm / f/16 / 1/125 sec. / ISO 200
Nearest Area
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite Village
Brief Directions

The Tunnel View viewpoint is at the western end of Yosemite Valley, prominently marked on Park maps.


This sunrise scene covered an extreme range of light, from the direct sunlight shining through thin clouds to deep shadows in the Valley floor.To have maximum control of highlight and shadow tones, five bracketed exposures were captured, adjusted in Adobe Lightroom CC, and combined in Photomatix HDR software. The 16-bit TIFF result was then fine tuned in Adobe Lightroom CC.


This was captured on the first morning of our Spring in Yosemite workshop in late April. What a great way to start the week! I saw this weather coming a week away, the only question was whether to go on the Valley floor and shoot ground fog, or to go to a higher perspective to get the mist forming, and swirling around the Valley. Starting high, we could always quickly descend...

I was enjoying shooting a time-lapse video of the mist and fog swirling while waiting for sunrise to arrive. Then I captured some still images like this one when the light got good. Later I was picking compositions out at 400mm. With the snow and rain the night before, it even looked like there may have been a little water flowing over Horsetail Fall!

Also present for this spectacle on the morning of April 26, 2021 were many well-known photographers such as William Neil, Michael Frye, Gary Hart, Josh Cripps, and David Hoffman, and we all uploaded results over the following week. It was interesting to see so many different takes on the same stunning morning!

Date Added
October 26, 2021
Date Taken
April 26, 2021