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. My last night in the park I had designs on shooting up near Upper Yosemite Falls. But the moonbow wasn't predicted until 2am expected to be somewhat subpar, so I went back down to the valley to shoot with everyone else in Cook's meadow. This one lasted a good long while starting early and hanging on very late.
I started taking shots fifteen minutes before the predicted time just to make sure, and I'm glad I did, because it started early. As the moonbow shifted, the photographers slid back and forth across the trail, stepping gingerly on the wooden bridge to avoid ruining others shots.
The frogs croaked happily as I saw the moonbow reflected in the still snowmelt gathered in Cook's meadow. 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!"
For this shot, I wanted to highlight the bright saturated colors of the moonbow against a black and white landscape to give it the attention it deserves.
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