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02-27-2021, 12:59 PM   #1
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Setting sun's makes waterfall on El Capitan 'Lava' lights up Yosemite Park

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'Lava' lights up Yosemite Park: Stunning annual 'firefall' illusion caused by setting sun's reflection makes waterfall on El Capitan look like molten rock



02-27-2021, 01:23 PM   #2
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Very pretty
02-28-2021, 03:29 AM   #3
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A very unique phenomenon for sure. I seem to recall reading a couple of years ago the National Park Service closed off some of the better areas to view and photograph this from because the large number of people in there were destroying the natural landscape. In the early 1900's they would build huge fires on top and push the red hot coals over the falls at night year round. That's where it got its name Fire Falls. NPS put an end to that when they took control back from California.
02-28-2021, 09:39 AM   #4
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I was there in 2016. The entire valley, including the roads, had been transformed into an immense parking lot. There were people from all over the world trying to photograph this phenomenon. The conditions seemed perfect for it: the waterfall was there, the sun out --- and yet it didn't happen. A few high clouds in front of the sun meant that the light wasn't strong enough to bring out the effect.

It's hard for the NPS to know how to deal with the crowds that come to see this thing. There were some limitations posed on who could park where in the last few years. I'm not sure what they did this year, but there were just way too many people going into the valley to stand by and do nothing as the whole landscape gets stampeded by hordes.

My failed attempt to capture the darn thing, compliments of the K-5iis + M 75-150:



02-28-2021, 09:56 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by DWS1 Quote
A very unique phenomenon for sure. I seem to recall reading a couple of years ago the National Park Service closed off some of the better areas to view and photograph this from because the large number of people in there were destroying the natural landscape. In the early 1900's they would build huge fires on top and push the red hot coals over the falls at night year round. That's where it got its name Fire Falls. NPS put an end to that when they took control back from California.
Actually, the original "firefall" was pushed off Glacier Point (a few miles up the valley, on the other side), and I think this continued into the 1960's. Galen Rowell's 1973 image is the one that drew attention to Horsetail Falls. And yes, as with so many iconic photo locations in the age of Instagram, this one has exploded in popularity.

Last edited by baro-nite; 02-28-2021 at 11:39 AM.
02-28-2021, 03:51 PM   #6
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A photo Ansel Adams never took!
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