Half Dome

What can one say about standing over 9000 feet up on the side of a huge monolith piece of granite, Glacier Point, looking directing opposite at yet another famous piece of granite some 10000 feet high, Half Dome, and not go WOW. I could actually see the very spot where Ansel Adams stood to take his famous capture.

This place just left us speechless when we reached the top and we spent just about all day exploring and relaxing in what was like living inside a postcard for the day. We waited round for the sun to disappear and crossing our fingers that the famous dome of Half Dome would light up orange like we saw from the valley floor the evening previous. Well the sun went down and right before our eyes it slowly turned every shade of orange, its something we will never forget and glad we have on video as well. I rolled off so many shots of this sunset and the whole area that I am only just today starting to piece together.

We waited and waited and waited for this light and if I was not such a stubborn individual I would of missed this light like many other photographers did. They all seemed to come and go, and when the light did not seem t want to play many left with just a handful let to witness the full glory of the sunset.

I am not sure if it was the sun position at that time of year or not but the lighting of the dome seems to want to show its face and almost does, around 10% lights up then after teasing you it disappears and goes a light grey from the shadows from 3 other peaks to the left not in this frame, at which time your thinking oh shit its not going to happen. I stayed longer and was thinking no way this cant be happening while hordes of others left, then around 15-20 mins later it comes back into play and your just left speechless.

Pretty much our best day at Yosemite National Park, what an absolutely awe inspiring place to see. I did my best to try and capture the shear size color and grandeur of this place, I do not think I really did it justice, maybe somethings are better left as a memory and not a photograph?

About Neal Pritchard

TImeless landscape photography prints by Neal Pritchard
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25 Responses to Half Dome

  1. Dylan Fox says:

    I would also like a copy of this shot. You are very lucky to have seen such amazing places and come away with awesome images!
    I would be interested to see some footage of the place.
    Well Done

  2. Thanks Dylan, #1 can be yours.
    Sure I have burnt our home movies to DVD and can show you when your back in town.

  3. kirkhille says:

    Man another stunner mate , the lights great on this shot
    You must be happy with these shot from your trip there all rippers . It looks amazing over there .
    would be cool to see some photage of these places

  4. What a stunning location and it’s a stunner of a photo as well! I simply have to stand in that location one day, you’re photo makes me wanna book a ticket now!

    Having been at the location, it’s hard to create a photo that captures and creates the feeling of being there and witnessing this. Must of your viewers and buyers will not have been there though, so it’s only in our own head we feel it can’t live up to the memory of being there. I reckon the hardest part of Half Dome must be showing the scale, how big it really is!

    I’m thinking you should try a bit of Eastway on this, desaturate the blues and in particular the sky so you get that warm orange vs dark grey effect.

  5. dylanfox says:

    Awesome! haha
    I got a new pic ready to show. It still has the PTGui watermark so it is more or less just a practice run for the final print. It’s similar to your jetty photo on Lake Tahoe, but for some reason it isn’t uploading to the blog atm…..

  6. jamiepatersonphotography says:


    This is simply stunning, no other words can describe it. I love the way the orange and blacks play off against each other. This must be some of your best work. I bet you were pretty stocked when you saw this unfold on the screen.

    Jamie Paterson

  7. Thanks Kirk
    I’ll drag the dvd to a shoot of ours so you can see, bare in mind it is a home movie shot by the wife.

    Thanks Jamie,
    Yeah I am pretty happy with it even at 60 inches it looks pretty damn nice. Once it was stitched I was more than a little happy 🙂

    “Thanks Flem I’ll try a little Eastway on it thanks for the advice. The spot I was in was as told several times by just about every photographer that night was the primo spot. I knew that already and set myself up on this very ledge some 2 plus hrs before and never moved, just to risky when the place had more photographers than the FBI at a mob funeral.”

  8. thomasparkes says:

    Great shot Neal.
    Not a good shot for people with a fear of heights.
    It is a breathtaking location.

    Excellent work.

  9. Awesome shot Neil
    Must be so hard conveying the size of this, i think you’ve managed to capture it!

  10. lukeaustin says:

    Wholey shit! That’s insane. Looks pretty darn big to me. I don’t know what else to say….

  11. Leon says:

    Awesome Neal. That is incredible light. It sure pays to wait around after everyone else has left.

  12. Beau says:

    Wow! I’m not sure what to say about this photograph, it’s incredible. The light you’ve captured is excellent and just the size of the rock is jaw-dropping. I’d love to see place this in person one day. I had better start saving :p

  13. Thanks Matt – Looking forward to it as well.

    Thanks Thomas – Not really scared of heights myself until I looked over edge and saw a free fall to the valley floor- I tended to not look straight down after that.

    Thanks Stephan – Only thing that I have seen bigger and maybe more grand is the Grand Canyon …

    Thanks Luke – It will look even bigger when I get the 60 inch print done 🙂

    Thanks Leon – Mr Waterfall USA, where going to have to hook up again one day and go on a 2 week hike of the sierras. You live in the most stunning part of the world – so jealous.

    Thanks Beau – Save those pennies it will be well worth it.

  14. I saw a thing on tv where a guy climbed both of the faces in like 24hrs or something like that. Freekin insane! It was amazing footage but i’m sure standing on the edge would make you a lil giddy…

  15. Beau says:

    Hey, Neal. Just wondering what filter set-up you’re using as my current cokin filter holder blocks some of the frame when zoomed out to 17mm. I’m looking at getting a new bunch of filters with my tax return money.


  16. Currently using the lee holder and Lee ND soft grads they are 100×150 in size. They can be very hard to get the actual filters here in perth, so I would first try B&H or Adorama in New York hey both have web sites and are really easy to find via google

  17. jamiepatersonphotography says:

    I keep coming back to this photo. I love it.

  18. kirkhille says:

    Yeah its a great shot Jamie I keep doing the same 🙂

  19. Thanks guys going to get it printed next week for the portfolio.

  20. jamiepatersonphotography says:

    I was at Fitzgeralds today. Just put a couple more bird photos up on my blog

  21. Dylan Fox says:

    I bought a book today called, “Ansel Adams 400 Photographs”.
    It is brilliant and has a number of shots of this rock, and I have to say this shot compares to his in my opinion.

  22. Dylan Fox says:

    Oh Neal also, what camera bag do you have? I am going to get a back pack for my gear since I am always pulling my camera bag out of my back pack anyway.

  23. I bet there’s some amazing pics in that book. I am not to familiar with a lot of his work, thanks for the compliment.

    The backpack I use is the Lowepro Compu Trekker AW. Carries my 5D and 24-70 and 70-200 lens with plenty of room for lee filters and hoods. The main reason I chose this one is the option to carry my Lap Top on the plane with all my camera gear in one bag. I looked at the rolling option but thought is was just a tad bit big for cary on and I could get told to check it if I was unlucky, although some of the cary on I have seen lately is so big I am shocked it gets on. Either way I will not take the chance so I went with the backpack I choose. It comes with a waterproof / resistant pull over pouch that has come in handy more times than I care to admit. I would not buy a backpack without one now.

  24. Ansel Adams 400 photographs is a good book, a good introduction to his work and his outstanding photography and darkroom work.

    Neal, your shot can certainly hold it’s own you came away with a stunning shot!

    I use the KATA R-103 backpack that also holds my laptop. It has a super harness that makes walking long distances with it no problem. And it could survive a nuclear blast!

  25. Thanks Flem,

    Those KATA sure are built like tanks. It was a toss up between the 2 in the end, and either way I think I would of been very happy with my choice. I think of memory it may of been the price as to what tipped me to the Lowepro, I can’t be sure its ben a long time now.

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