Have you ever seen a rainbow at night?
During the spring in Yosemite, you can! They're called moonbows. They occur during a full moon when the waterfalls are rushing and causing lots of mist. Then you need a clear night and the angle between moon, photographer, and mist to be 42 degrees.
I visited Yosemite in April of 2022 with the singular goal of getting a moonbow picture. The night of the full moon, I hiked five miles and 3,200 feet up Four Mile trail to get to Glacier Point. The road was closed, and parts of the trail were still covered in snow.
I was alone. And the moonbow wasn't supposed to occur until 1:30am.
I started taking shots fifteen minutes before the predicted time just to make sure, and I'm glad I did, because it started 15 minutes early. This composition is unusual because of the snow in the foreground. Meaning, Glacier Point isn't easily reached when there's still snow. The lights in the valley are from the lodge, restaurants and rooms.
It was pretty chilly, and hiking down from here between 1:30am and 5am was a little outside my comfort zone. Like I said, I was by myself, but I could see headlamps across the valley above Yosemite Falls, and over by the trail up to Mirror Lake. So I wasn't alone in spirit? I still carried my tripod extended like a weapon all the way down.
Sound challenging? It's definitely something you have to plan for. You can't see the colors with the naked eye, and sometimes it's hard to even see if it's there. Your camera has to pick it up. A common experience was people standing there, looking at the falls in the dark, somewhat overwhelmed. Then they'd take a shot and look at they're picture of the moonbow on their viewfinder and say, "Oh...wow!
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- Art can inspire you daily
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HOW TO HANG YOUR PRINT
- Use cardboard (try the box it comes in!) or newspaper to make a template to position the print
- Use included hardware or self-threading screws / anchors
- Get help with larger prints
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