A larger copy of the photo below is at:
- “Getting up at dawn on a winter morning and driving around Yosemite in search of photographs is a chilly but wonderful experience. At the close of a snowstorm the trees are frosty white, but soon after the sunlight strikes them the snow falls in glittering cascades”.
– Ansel Adams
Potentially great photography is a big lure for people thinking about going on the De Anza Outdoor Club annual winter Yosemite Snow Camp.
From the Ansel Adams gallery newsletter:
Many people imagine green meadows and bluebird skies when they envision Yosemite, but there is another beautiful side of the park many visitors never get to see.
Sunlight gains interesting colors from the Earth’s atmosphere. As the sun moves lower in the sky, its rays travel through more atmosphere. This is what gives many sunsets their vivid colors.
During the winter months in Yosemite, the sun takes a lower path in the sky, giving daylight golden hues and lending sunsets a spectacular range of oranges, reds, and purples.
Horsetail Fall at sunset is one of Yosemite’s most impressive and elusive scenes. In February the sun’s angle combined with high water flow create a scene which mimics the famous Yosemite “Firefall”, creating an awe-inspiring image with zero environmental impact!
Also, clearing winter storms create veils of mist and an icing of snow on the cliffs. As the sun is emerging, it spotlights the granite walls and creates dramatic contrasts.”
During our winter trip, the Ansel Adams gallery has free photo walks, weather permitting, at 9 a.m. for two+ hours Saturdays (as of 2016). Limited space, sign up in advance at the gallery. See Snow Camp for details about the current trip.
The Upper Yosemite Fall hike is the place to take this photo:
Some great pictures of climbing as well as beginning and advanced photo tips for hikers, climbers:
The Yosemite Assn has a page of photo tips from photographer Michael Frye at:
He has notes about Horsetail Fall in a February section.
November, December, and January are the best months to photograph Half Dome and El Capitan. From late afternoon until sunset, low-angle sunlight highlights the texture on the face of Half Dome. Late in the day, El Capitan is also flushed with warm light. (At the website he gives specific locations to photograph from).
photos below by Quang-Tuan Luong/terragalleria.com, all rights reserved.