Publisher: Yosemite Conservancy (June 9, 2015)

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Tuolumne Meadows has been up-and-coming landscape photographer Ryan Alonzo's summer home for several years, and he shares his deep sense of place in this exquisite, spare collection of photographs. Because he lives and works in the park, he is there to capture those special moments of light and weather in which Yosemite shines. Through his fresh lens, readers can experience the fields of wildflowers, the beckoning granite domes, and the mountain peak vistas of a remarkable corner of California's high Sierra, with each image accompanied by naturalist notes. For up to half the year, Tuolumne Meadows is closed to visitors due to snow on the Tioga Road; Tuolumne In Pictures is the next best thing to being there.

"High in the Sierra Nevada, Tuolumne Meadows sits at the crest of Yosemite National Park. Glacier-carved domes and mountains, rivers and fields, flora and fauna shape this idyllic landscape—a powerful, peaceful natural space beloved for its implicit grace.

“It’s one of those places you can fall in love with,” Ryan Alonzo told Sierra by phone. Alonzo is a photographer and Tuolumne transplant. He has traipsed across almost every corner of the Meadows—and has developed an acute eye for the light that hits its features, the angles that best “do proper justice,” as he says, to Tuolumne’s splendor.

Alonzo has photographed the region regularly for years. He first became attached to the Valley during family camping trips as a child, but he has stuck around season after season to scope Tuolumne’s creeks and peaks. He works with Yosemite Conservancy, currently as a full-time photographer. His book, Tuolumne in Pictures, was released earlier this year—a follow-up to his 2014 book Yosemite in Pictures, also published by Yosemite Conservancy. The collection of Tuolumne photos, he said, has been a long time coming.

The book's pictures (some of which are included here) have been taken over many years, but most are from the summer 2014 season. Vibrant text complements Alonzo’s photos with rich natural history of Tuolumne, which the photographer wrote with his best friend, National Park Service interpretive ranger Eric Smith, who frequently accompanies Alonzo when he heads out to take pictures.

“I’ll say hey, the clouds are looking good, we should go run up this peak,” said Alonzo about finding shots with Smith. “When you’re at Tuolumne Meadows, if you look at any of the peaks 360 degrees around, I’ve been to just about every spot.”

At Tuolumne’s 8,600 feet of elevation, snow usually lingers for a sizable portion of the year. One of Alonzo’s favorite photos in the collection—the second, in the slideshow above—is from the day Tioga Pass opened after the snow last year. Alonzo darted to a spot around 12,000 feet in elevation to get the perfect shot. “It was freezing, I was cold, I had snowshoes on, but I was waiting for the sun to be perfect,” he said. And, as the photo reflects, his time was well worth it.

Now in midsummer, he described Tuolumne’s thunderstorms and beautiful sunsets. “It’s your ideal High Sierra dream.”

Alonzo hopes his photos leave a lasting impression on viewers. “I want to inspire people to get out and see these places," he said. Growing tourism has brought more nature-lovers to Tuolumne and other parts of Yosemite—but also more threats to the landscape. “I want people to come visit, but also to take care to preserve this area. Let it be beautiful, and share it with generations to come.”

- Sierra Club Interview


"Photographer Ryan Alonzo spends as much time as possible in Yosemite National Park's Tuolumne Meadows. This isn't easy; Tuolumne is closed to visitors up to half the year due to snow. Now, Alonzo's new book, Tuolumne in Pictures — published to coincide with the 125th anniversary of Yosemite National Park — is the next best thing to being there.Evidence of both Nature's power and its delicate touch is abundant in Tuolumne. Granite domes polished by glaciers loom over lush meadows dotted with wild flowers; stormy skies clear over quietly grazing mule deer. The growing season at 8,600 feet in elevation is fleeting and some vistas are downright challenging to reach, which makes capturing it with a camera all the more special — and rare.

Tuolumne in Pictures is one of a kind in a crowded field; no other photography book focuses solely on this magical region high up in California's Sierra Nevada. The book is organized around the natural elements that make up Tuolumne: meadow, flora, sky, water, and rock. The vibrant photographs in this fresh, affordable collection are accompanied by key information that visitors who make it there — and those who dream to do so — will want to know. Tuolumne Meadows is like a secret; only a portion of Yosemite's nearly four million visitors per year venture into its high country. But all can enjoy it. It was in Tuolumne Meadows that renowned conservationist John Muir camped and dreamed of creating a national park, and now, 125 years later, we can be proud to celebrate this national legacy.

By honoring this magical place, Tuolumne in Pictures preserves its ethereal beauty for future generations."

- Sierra News Online

"This slim volume– kind of like a miniature coffee-table book – delivers just what its title says. The photos of the eastern corner of Yosemite National Park are sublime, from the herds of mule deer roaming the pasture to the curvy Tuolumne River to the cumulus clouds that gather above the granite peaks. The text is pretty skimpy, but what did you expect from a book with this title? This one’s a keeper for nature photography lovers." - The Sacramento Bee

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Publisher: Yosemite Conservancy (June 10, 2014)

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"There are a lot of photography books about Yosemite National Park, and sometimes it seems like the photographers shoot the same scene from the same place at the same time. Maybe they look for the marks of previous tripods.

At first I wasn't sure about Ryan Alonzo's new book, Yosemite in Pictures, because it's such a departure from the jaded, over-saturated, overly familiar scenes. But, after a few readings, I really appreciate this small homage to such an amazing place. Trying to show Yosemite is always a challenge, but Alonzo successfully reveals the diversity of canyon, cliff, and peak.

Working for a decade in the park has taken Alonzo into areas not normally documented, and many of his locations are new, unusual, or just seen with a different eye and a different aspect. There are intimate details of natural processes, like the spring redbuds over a raging torrent and a carpet of golden-coined aspen leaves after a rain. His detail of bluish water pouring over amber granite is gorgeous.

The book's 48 pages are divided into Yosemite's great regions: The Valley, Mariposa Grove (there's a great photo of wind-blown snow against the Sequoia trunks), Glacier Point (a lovely shot of Half Dome rising above wispy clouds), Tuolumne Meadows, and the High Country (thank goodness someone's still getting off the road into the 90% of the park that most visitors don't see).

Alonzo's captions are long enough to describe what's happening, but short enough to give a lot of white space around his photos. There's also a wonderful twilight two-page panoramic of the Cathedral Range, with the peaks named: there's a lot of country outside of the Valley.

The size works well too: this is not a coffee table book, but an intimate 8"X7" hardcover with a soft varnish that feels great to the fingers. It's published by the Yosemite Conservancy."

- National Parks Traveler


"Each new generation sees Yosemite National Park with a fresh set of eyes and a unique perspective. With "Yosemite in Pictures," up-and-coming nature photographer Ryan Alonzo has dedicated much of his creative talent to capturing the endless beauty and inspiration that this spectacular park has to offer. Alonzo has worked in Yosemite for the past 10 years, so he gets an insider's view of those special moments of weather and light that most of us miss.

The dramatic shots in this book are accompanied by key information that visitors and park admirers will want to remember and share. Highlights include Yosemite Valley, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Tuolumne Meadows, and Glacier Point."

-Sierra Star


"Yosemite in Pictures is a slim volume of Yosemite photographs most visitors probably wish they could capture."

- Boom: A Journal of California


"Prepare to be enchanted: These gorgeous photos of Yosemite are magical."



"Embark on a photographic stroll through Yosemite National Park and its seasons with the hardcover book Yosemite in Pictures."

- Via Magazine


"Nature photographer Ryan Alonzo offers an insider's view of the moments of weather and light at the park."

-Fresno Bee