Milky Way over Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

I recently made the hike to the summit of Half Dome. It’s a grueling 16-mile hike with 5000′ of elevation gain so I left my heavy camera home on that day.  However, I chose to time my hike on the perfect night for astrophotography in Yosemite National Park, so I returned the night after my hike to make just one photograph, one I have done before but continue to revisit hoping for ever-clearer night skies.  There are only a couple nights each year where the light of the moon over the Yosemite High Country is perfectly balanced with the Milky Way, and one can capture the sight without resorting to a lot of the digital gimmickry that most astrophotographers use.  This is nearly straight out of the camera, which no accentuation of the Milky Way.  It is a huge panorama that can print over 7′ wide with no interpolation.  Cheers, and thanks for looking!

The Milky Way arches over Half Dome, and the Yosemite High Country, Yosemite National Park, California

The Milky Way arches over Half Dome, and the Yosemite High Country.
Image ID: 37132
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

About Phil Colla

I am a natural history photographer. I enjoy making compelling images in the ocean, on land, and in the air. I have maintained the Natural History Photography blog since 2005 and my searchable Natural History Photography Library since 1997. Here are some tear sheets and behind the scenes views. Thanks for looking!