Horsetail fall

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Often the journey is more important than the destination. Nothing underscores more for me than[wikipop]Horsetail fall (Yosemite)[/wikipop].

First made famous by the late [wikipop]Galen Rowell[/wikipop], Horsetail fall is a tiny water fall that can sometimes be seen on the side of [wikipop]El Capitan[/wikipop]. What really makes it special is the treatment it gets, at sunset, during just a couple times each year. Fed by only a 30 acre watershed it often doesn’t flow at all, but when weather conditions are right it puts on an amazing show. Best viewed backlit, the fall appears as a river of fire down the side of the granite face.

Because of the special conditions, and timing required, Horsetail can be very elusive to photograph. While technically possible in the fall, due to the angle of the sun, Horsetail fall is traditionally photographed in middle to late February. Huge crowds of photographer arrive, each year, all trying to get the classic shot. Ironically, my best memories of Horsetail are of standing in the snow, shoulder to shoulder with some other photographers joking and laughing as we clicked away at the display. The photography was completely secondary. Even after “getting the shot” several times I still go back each year just for the experience.

This particular image was taken in late January from a less traditional location. Still early in the season for the full display, I liked it because of  its different perspective. I took this shot with my Canon 100-400 from the edge of Southside drive, not far from Sentinel Beach.


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