Yosemite Spring

There are many (many!) beautiful sights in Yosemite, but when most people think about Yosemite, they think about waterfalls and granite. The granite is forever (virtually), but Yosemite’s waterfalls come and go with the season: exploding from the granite walls in spring, most of Yosemite’s waterfalls are bone dry by summer’s end. And some years are better than others—three springs ago, Bridalveil and Yosemite…

Yosemite Moonbow

Even though your spellcheck says it doesn’t exist, I promise you that a moonbow is a very real thing indeed (and I have the pictures to prove it). Some argue that “lunar rainbow” is more the technically correct designation, but since that moniker just doesn’t convey the visual magic, I’m sticking with moonbow. This won’t be on the test Because a moonbow is a…

Moonbow: Nature’s little secret

  Rainbows demystified A rainbow forms when sunlight strikes airborne water droplets and is separated into its component spectral colors by characteristics of the water. The separated light is reflected back to our eyes when it strikes the backside of the droplets: Voila!—a rainbow. Despite their seemingly random advent and location in the sky, rainbows follow very specific rules of nature—there’s nothing random about a rainbow. Draw an imaginary line…

All I want for Christmas….

I returned late last night (well, early this morning) from my 2013 Yosemite Moonbow and Wildflowers photo workshop will lots of great new images and two fewer teeth. True story. The images I can verify; the teeth you’ll need to take my word for. Read on. Chapter One: In the big inning Twenty years ago I lost my two front teeth in a freak…

Photographic reality: Accumulate light

  “Photography’s gift isn’t the ability to reproduce your reality, it’s the ability to expand it.” (The fourth installment of my series on photographic reality.) Before getting too frustrated with your camera’s limited dynamic range, remember that it can also do things with light that your eyes can’t. While we humans experience the world by serially processing an infinite number of discrete instants in real time, a…

Have you ever seen a moonbow?

I’m fortunate to have a ringside seat for many of Mother Nature’s most exquisite phenomena, but few excite me more than the shimmering arc of Yosemite’s moonbow. A “moonbow”? I thought you’d never ask…. As you may have figured, a moonbow is a rainbow caused by moonlight. (Don’t be fooled by the fact that your spellcheck doesn’t recognize “moonbow”–it’s a very real thing indeed,…

Yosemite Falls moonbow

My annual Yosemite moonbow workshop starts Thursday, and if Mother Nature cooperates (and Congress can get its act together enough to keep our National Parks funded), everyone in my group should have something like this by the end of the workshop. Given the right conditions, photographing the Yosemite Falls moonbow isn’t rocket science. These conditions–ample flow in the fall, a full moon at the…