- In the Field
How to Photograph Yosemite’s Dazzling ‘Firefall’
If conditions are just right, Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall can gleam a brilliant orange. But to get your perfect picture, keep an eye on the weather.
For a couple of weeks each February, a waterfall in California’s Yosemite National Park appears to be set ablaze by the setting sun, a fleeting evening spectacle known as the “firefall.”
“I travel around the world to capture these amazing sunrises and sunsets, but there is nothing remotely close to watching this phenomenon, which seems straight out of an Indiana Jones movie,” says Sangeeta Dey, a pediatric neuropsychologist and National Geographic Your Shot photographer who has photographed the firefall twice in the last two years.
She’s in good company. Though renowned photographer Ansel Adams captured the gleaming waterfall in 1940, the “firefall” didn’t become widely known until National Geographic photographer Galen Rowell documented it in 1973. Ever