Morning comes late to Yosemite Valley. Suddenly the sun starts to light up the peaks and walls of the valley, in stark contrast to the trees and cliffs still in shadow. Soon the sun will melt the snow, but for now the valley retains its beautiful white coat of winter.
Sunrise from the Yosemite Valley floor is a spectacular show indeed, perhaps more beautiful than sunset. (For sunset, you are best off finding a location where you can see down into the valley, rather than be looking up from the valley.)
I owe my many photos of Yosemite at dawn in part to my nine-year-old son Julian because on our recent trip he woke me each of our days in Yosemite early enough to photograph the sunrise. He also put up with my long photographic sessions on these days before we ever got to breakfast!