Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fire Waterfall

A rare sight!! Yosemite National Park, California, USA

This park was gazetted as a national park in 1890. It is world famous for its rugged terrain, waterfall and century-old pine trees. It covers 1200 sq km and the "fire" waterfall ofEl Capitanis one of the most spectacular of all scenery.

The spectacular view of the waterfall is created by the reflection of sunlight hitting the falling water at a specific angle.

This rare sight can only be seen at a 2-week period towards the end of February.

To photograph this rare event, photographers would often have to wait and
endure years of patience in order to capture them.

The reason is because its appearance depend on a few natural phenomenon occurring at the same time. 1st, is the formation of the waterfall, the water is formed by the melting of snow and ice at the top of the mountain. It melts between the month of December and January and by the end of February there might not have much snow left to melt. 2nd, is the specific angle of the sunray hitting the falling water - The sun's position must be exactly at a particular spot in the sky. This occurs only in the month of February and at the short hours of dusk. If it is a day full of clouds or something blocking the sun, you can only take pictures of your own sorry faces on the waterfall.

It coincides with the fact that the weather in the National Park at that time of the year is often volatile and unpredictable. It compounds the difficulty of getting these pictures.

All credits go to original photographer(s)


OrbsCorbs said...

Those are spectacular. When I first saw them, I assumed they were pics of a lava flow.

Anonymous said...

It reminds me of the day that the toilet overflowed in our house when we were gone for the day.

Nice pics!

hale-bopp said...

Could be an example of reddened sunlight undergoing total internal reflection inside the falling water. Need a little more info on the geometry (like where the Sun is relative to the photographer and waterfall) to be sure, but I have set up similar situations using a red laser in the lab for demonstrations. Cool that you can get it to happen naturally. The mountain backdrop is prettier than the lab!

drewzepmeister said...

That is SOOO cool!!!!