4:20pm Horsetail Fall, in Yosemite National Park glowing in the afternoon sun teases all the photographers who came from near and far to try and catch the sun light hitting the water just before sunset.
For a several days the sun lines up with this fall; in February, and again in October when it does it lights it up. The preferred time for photographers to shoot this is in February when there is a better chance for snow melt, and water running down the east side of El Capitan. When the sun hits the water the phenomenon can be awesome. This shot was made famous by famed Yosemite photographer Galen Rowell with his photograph “Natural Firefall”.
Ansel Adams famous for his black and white photography has also taken this shot. Since then many nature, and landscape photographers have been trying to “get the shot”. Me included.
I first shot this fall last February seen here:
They came from near and far. Next to me were friends who traveled 3 days by car from Colorado to shoot the valley and, try to get the Horsetail Fall shot. Behind me was a photographer from San Diego, CA, and behind him a videographer from Lake Tahoe. The man that set up on that little island of snow got there at 11am to claim that spot I was told. Behind that hill of snow, and tree roots the bank is lined with photographers. My friends are over there somewhere. I said I was heading left. I think they veered right.
This year the shot was not meant to be. Two times myself and few friends drove the 4+ hours to get here and both times the clouds blocked the sun. By 4:30PM the first day the clouds began to creep lower, and at 5:32PM I took this shot:
…as you can see the clouds had crept in and blocked the sun. The photographers around me and myself started making plans to do weather checks and see if it might be possible to try again the next day. By 5:42PM when the sun set we all started packing up. The next day we did return, but the day was more overcast and the shot eluded us once more. We headed over to Cook’s Meadow, and saw the sun did peak through the clouds and light up Half Dome so we raced over to Sentinel Bridge to get that shot before the sun went down.
Not the shot we hoped to get, but a shot I’m happy to have photographed:
All photographs Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved
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