You win some, you lose some.

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:

The color and light were good, but it’s not “the shot”. I was hoping for more intense reds and yellows.  I’m not expecting to ever get a shot better than Galen’s he has set the marker high.

This year I tried a different location too. There were quite a few photographers 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:

I left the park that evening with my spirits high. I came with good friends and had a great time, and with luck I’ll return next year to try to get the fire of Horsetail Fall.

All photographs Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac.  All Rights Reserved

Click the photo to view it large.

Nikon Firmware Update available for D90 and D5000

This firmware update for the D90 and D5000 only will correct distortion issues .

Nikon says., ““The Distortion Control Data firmware upgrade is available for Nikon D90 and D5000 cameras only. This is used to correct barrel and pincushion distortion during shooting and editing. This may be loaded into cameras that support distortion control.” Nikon


Details on how to update your cameras firmware are here:


H/T Nikon Rumors

Photography Updates

Several updates in the world of photography yesterday:

Apple updated their RAW Compatibility to Update 3.6 for the Mac OS, which fixes a few issues that occurred with the D7000 and P7000.

Autopano Pro 2.5 has a new UI and look, a haze remover, HDR Fusion, and more.

Nik HDR Efex Pro 1.1 is now available with improved memory management and a number of bugs fixed.

Capture Pilot for Capture One and iPads is now at version 1.1, adding ratings and tagging. Shuttersnitch for iPad is now at version 2.0.2 and has better Eye-Fi card support, resizing, and more.

Bibble 5.2.1 resolves some small issues.


H/T Thom Hogan

“Hope never abandons you; you abandon it. ” ~George Weinberg

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.
“Hope never abandons you; you abandon it. ” ~George WeinbergJulia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Big Sur
McWay Falls
Pacific Ocean

McWay Fall
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Big Sur
Pacific Ocean

For the history buffs:
After passing through the specially constructed pedestrian underpass, the overlook trail comes out onto the face of a steep bluff about 100 feet above the ocean. The view includes a large sweep of ocean, miles of the Big Sur coastline, and looks directly down into McWay Cove, where a delightful little water-fall drops 80 feet from the granite cliffs. Prior to 1983, it fell directly into the sea, but a major landslide a half-mile north of the cove deposited so much sediment in McWay Cove the the waterfall now lands on a sandy beach. The “new” beach is not open to the public because the surrounding cliffs are extremely unstable.

Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm| Tripod