Golden Gate Photo - Half Dome Gallery
Fine Art Photography of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park.
Half Dome is the crown jewel of Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada of California. It is also perhaps one of the most recognized geological features in the United States. Half Dome is comprised of granodiorite of Mesozoic age. The dome shape, common among many of the peaks in the Sierra Nevada, may be the remnants of the lobes of this magma as they intruded into the overlying rock, now mostly eroded. During the Pleistocene ice ages, from 10,000 to as much as 800,000 years ago, glaciers advanced numerous times from the higher portions of the Sierra, carving out Yosemite Valley. The top of Half Dome was an island among a sea of flowing ice during glaciation. The north half was scoured by glaciers flowing down Yosemite Valley. The peak of Half Dome is at 8,842 Feet (2,720 meters) and rises about 4,700 feet (about 1,430 meters) above the valley floor. Half Dome is one of the most photographed geological features in California. Below are five relatively unique views of this monument.
Page 1 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery
Reflection of Half Dome
This reflection of Half Dome in a puddle on a boulder next to the Merced River in Yosemite Valley was a tricky image to catch. The exposure time was 5 seconds, which had to coincide with a very brief break in the breeze coming down the river valley. Each time the breeze blew, it would cause the puddle to ripple, destroying the reflection. I only had one shot to capture this before the sun set.
Print No. A97-4-3
Half Dome and Avalanche
Taken from Mirror Lake, this is the view up at the sheer face of Half Dome. About every 10 minutes or so, a thunder-like rumbling can be heard sweeping across the valley as the daily freezing and thawing action causes minor rock slides. These slides mix with snow accumulations and cascade down the steep face of Half Dome. One such avalanche can be seen as the white vertical streaks in the upper right portion of the image.
Print No. A01-6-10
More Images of Yosemite in Winter
Half Dome through Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch is a granitic arch on top of Indian Ridge, north of the Yosemite Valley. It probably formed as a result of a concentric-shell crack (referred to as exfoliation) due to the release of overburden pressure. In this case, the shell above the exfoliation joint remained structurally stable while the underlying rock mass collapsed. This is the only granitic arch known in Yosemite National Park. Half Dome is viewed through the arch to the southeast.
Print No. A02-36-6
Half Dome Summit View
This was taken from near the "Diving Board", a famous overhang at the summit, looking eastward into Tenaya Canyon. In the vertical wall, you can see the curved exfoliation joints, which roughly mimic the dome surface.
Print No. A02-15-6
See more images on the trip to Half Dome
Half Dome and Lenticular Clouds
This view is from Glacier Point, a popular vista above the south side of the valley. Half Dome lies to the east of Glacier Point, with Nevada Falls to the right and the Sierra Crest in the background. The saucer-shaped clouds, called lenticular clouds, are typically the result of high winds passing over peaks. Moisture-laden air is lifted over the peaks and condensed into clouds at higher altitudes on the lee side of the peaks.
Print No. A01-37-11
Here is a close-up of the details in these complex clouds.
Page 2 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery - YOSEMITE IN WINTER
Page 3 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery - TUOLUMNE MEADOWS AND VICINITY, PART 1
Page 4 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery - TUOLUMNE MEADOWS AND VICINITY, PART 2
Page 6 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery - THE TRIP TO HALF DOME SUMMIT
Page 7 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery - THE TRIP TO MOUNT DANA SUMMIT
Page 8 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery - WATERFALLS OF YOSEMITE
Page 9 of the Yosemite National Park Gallery - HIGH SIERRA CAMPS
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