Sunday, June 27, 2010

Yosemite Falls presents - The Moonbow!!!

I just returned from another quick trip to Yosemite Valley, where I was lucky enough to spend some times with my friends from Canon and also well-known outdoor photographer, Lewis Kemper. I was only able to stay there for two nights since I had other commitments back home, but it was not a wasted trip by any means. This happened to be one of the rare nights where one of the most elusive occurrences in Yosemite can happen. This is called a "Moonbow" and it only occurs when the following things happen:

1. The skies must be clear enough for the moon to shine through (which did not happen on the first night)
2. There must be enough water coming off the falls to create the right amount of mist at the base
3. A bright moon (preferably a full one)
4. The correct angle of the moon from the falls
5. The photographer needs to be at the right angle to capture the moonbow.

Even though we had started shooting at sunrise (5:30am) and had photographed and taught all day, we were determined to get to this shot. So, at 11:30pm we arrived at the meadow across from Yosemite Falls and set up for nature's one hour show.  I had an idea of how I would shoot this event, but two things caught me by surprise. The first was how tough it was to focus the camera in near darkness. At the beginning, I had set the lens to focus at infinity and hoped that it would be sharp. I ended up finding the right distance but I can tell you that the first ten images were useless. The second thing that surprised me was that the moonbow is not visible to the human eye, only to the camera. So...I was looking at the falls and waiting for the "event" to start when, in actuality, it already had. If it hadn't been for the hundreds of other photographers there, I might have missed this. Live and learn!

You can click on this image to see it a little larger

But...in the end I came up with a couple of images which really show off the Yosemite Falls Moonbow. This one is my favorites. Mother Nature is Awesome!!!!!

More Yosemite images to come (but none as memorable as this one).

3 comments:

-april said...

You probably already know this...
http://uweb.txstate.edu/~do01/

H.Bryant said...

Jeff- Very nice shot of the moonbow. I was there on the night of the 24th. No chance of a shot. It clouded up and began to rain.

Jeff Cable said...

I was going to try to shoot this on the 24th but had the same problem. Thank goodness it cleared on the 25th. :)