First, a reminder that this is the last day to get a discount on my new eBook, Exposure for Outdoor Photography. Until midnight tonight you can use the code EXPOSURE4 at checkout to get the book for only 4 dollars. Or use the code EXPOSURE20 to get 20 percent off if you buy five or more Craft & Vision eBooks—including my previous volume, Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom.
Now, on to Horsetail Fall. Yosemite Valley received about four inches of snow on Tuesday night, and higher elevations got a little bit more. Unfortunately that precipitation did little to improve the water volume in Horsetail Fall. It’s flowing, but barely. Yet it’s amazing how little water it actually takes. You can strain your eyes to detect any flow at all for most of the day, and then as the sun lowers it highlights the fall perfectly and makes whatever water there is stand out.
The accompanying photographs were made on Wednesday and Thursday evenings while I was teaching private workshops, and show the current conditions pretty well. On Wednesday some mist drifted past the fall, adding interest, but distant clouds dimmed the light before it reached its most intense color. On Thursday, the light was about as good as it gets for Horsetail, lasting right until the theoretical sunset time, with the cliff behind the fall shaded. If only there was more water!
Despite the low water volume a lot of people are trying to photograph Horsetail Fall. If you want to join the throngs you’ll need to arrive two hours or more before sunset to find a parking spot and get a decent view of the fall.
Some warmer weather would increase the snowmelt and improve the water flow. Temperatures are forecast to increase toward the middle of this week, so that might help.
The real show this past week wasn’t Horsetail Fall, but the beautiful misty sunrise on Wednesday morning after the snowfall. I’ll post some photographs of that here soon.
Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author and photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite, Yosemite Meditations, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters, plus the eBook Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom. He has written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California