Mike, you are correct. It wasn't exactly sunrise hours in the park. Sunrise this weekend at the park was like 6:54 am or something like that, but being december and partly cloudy there weren't any dramatic colors, sunset or sunrise, both days were duds as far as colors were concerned!! I made it out there right at 7 both days but didn't get much interesting light until a little later on. The image of el capitan was probably taken around 8-9 a.m. that morning if I remember correctly. I got very fortunate and there was a 20 minute break in the clouds, which you see in the in the second image. The first image was taken right at sunrise, around 7:15a.m. the following morning, as you can see not much sun or color at all. I was very lucky to at least have some rolling clouds come through to draw out a long exposure to give the shot some interesting perspective as opposed to just having a cloudy overcast gray sky.
ps: in hindsight i should have called it Gates of the Valley during mid morning, not sunrise