Photographing Yosemite in the Spring is an amazing sight, particularly this year, with waterfalls flowing in full force. This year I’ve seen more waterfalls in Yosemite than ever before. Seasonal waterfalls were visible no matter where you looked. Even more amazing in these conditions is photographing what you cannot see namely a moonbow or lunar rainbow. Anatomically our eyes cannot see color at night, but our camera sensors can. It’s a bit magical to photograph something you cannot see.
Photographing lower Yosemite Falls for moonbows (aka lunar rainbows) is both easy and difficult. Accessing the lower falls lookout it the easy part, while the difficult part is braving the non-stop mist shower. Dressed in a rainproof jacket with hood, rain proof pants and wearing gloves I needed a bath towel to dry off after. My camera was protected with a ThinkTank Hydrophobia 70-200 keeping it far dryer than me. Of course the big challenge is keeping your front lens element free of water. It took a few tries and a lot of lens clothes before I got all the compositional variations of this scene that I wanted less any distracting water droplets clouding the image. My personal favorite being this vertical that highlights the stars in the sky, the falls, the rapids and the moonbow.
Canon 5D Mark II, 16-35mm f/2.8 Mark II at 16mm, f/4, 9 seconds at ISO 1600
f/4 was chosen as opening up your lens allows more light in making for a shorter exposure time, but the added benefit is that the wider open your lens the less apparent water droplets appear on your front lens element. A handy trick to know. Here are a couple posts to prove the concept in real world scenarios one with a cracked lens and another with a pencil infront of the lens.
[tags]photography, Yosemite, National Park, moonbow, lunar rainbow, travel, stock photo, stock pictures[/tags]