Saturday, February 21, 2009

Horsetail Fall

On Thursday evening I photographed Horestail Fall from near "Rowell's View," one of the small clearings east of the El Capitan picnic area. Two friends and I arrived about 4:30 and got the last two marginal parking spaces. There were easily 100 photographers in the vicinity, most set up right in the plowed parking area - not the best view in my opinion, as it's too directly underneath the fall. But once we left the picnic area we were virtually alone.

On Wednesday morning Horsetail was a trickle, but two days of warm weather had increased the flow to perhaps average or slightly-below-average February levels. The light was slightly muted by some haze, but Horsetail still glowed nicely, as you can see by the photo at right. Last night was cloudy, tonight looks the same, and tomorrow and Monday the forecast calls for rain. So Thursday might have been the one good day for photographing Horsetail Fall this year! By Tuesday we are beyond the window for the best light, although it can still be good, especially if the sun breaks through some clouds at the right time.

But all the "bad" weather has done great things for the snowpack, and bodes well for waterfalls and flowers this spring. Keep it coming!


  1. Inspiring shot! I love that you went away from the crowds, got up a bit to get this picture. Beautiful!!!

  2. Thanks Jeff! We didn't have to go far to get away from the crowds. That's one of the great things about Yosemite in general - it has a (deserved) reputation for being crowded, but walk a couple of hundred feet away from a road or trail and you'll be alone.

  3. This shot is truly inspiring. When I was a child I saw images of Antelope Canyon and the light beams. I later went to the site to capture them myself. If I had seen this photograph, I might have gone to Yosemite first. The light on the falls is truly unique and you have captured it well. Beautiful work, Michael!

  4. Thanks Ron. Horsetail is a beautiful sight, whether or not you photograph it, so I hope you get to see it sometime.


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