Evening light on Horsetail Fall, Yosemite National Park, California  by Russ Bishop

Every February something special happens in Yosemite Valley if the conditions are right. At some point during the month the setting sun aligns perfectly with the canyon walls to the west for several evenings creating a longer than usual glow on the granite walls. And if the winter snowpack is substantial and the temperature warms enough to start the spring runoff, a wonderful cascade forms on the southeast side of El Capitan aptly named Horsetail Fall.

Of course, all of this along with the rest of Yosemite’s splendor would be enough to satisfy anyone visiting the valley this time of year. But in addition (as if mother nature is trying to outdo herself) for only a few minutes each evening the alignment of the sun also illuminates the falls from behind creating a brief firefall that is truly amazing. When I made this image, the sky had been rather drab all day and as the magic time approached it looked as if nothing would happen. Then suddenly the clouds parted to the west, the falls began to glow, and I had only moments to make a couple of exposures before the light was gone.

For more information on Russ’s work, please visit his website at www.russbishop.com

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