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Re: Fire fall

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avatar Fire fall
February 17, 2012 02:03PM
Okay, I will be there starting on Monday. Weather looks promising and I hear rumors of water falling. So, where do I go to attempt to view the fire fall? I am not all that familiar with the names of places in the valley, only the major ones. If someone could put an X on a map that would certainly be great. Or, long & lat would be perfect. But, even a description of where to wait and where too look would help.

Thanks, and keep your fingers crossed. Dancing GIrl
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 17, 2012 02:53PM
For first timers, the easiest spot to find parking and have a clear view of the Horsetail Fall would be at the El Capitan Picnic Area parking lot.

The entrance to the parking lot is on the righthand side of Northside Drive (heading west) BEFORE you reach the junction with El Capitan Drive and arrive at El Cap Meadows. If you gotten to El Cap Meadows, then you drove too far and will need to circle back. Another advantage of viewing Horsetail Fall at the El Capitan Picnic Area is that there are restrooms next to the parking lot (a nice convenience while waiting for the waterfall color to change). There's the most legal parking available at this location too.

Still, for next week, plan to arrive no later than 4:30 PM (preferably by 4:00 PM) if you want to have a good chance of finding a parking space for the light show that will occur around 5:15 PM and 5:45 PM (weather conditions permitting).
Re: Fire fall
February 21, 2012 09:11AM
For those photos that appear to be taken from a point higher in elevation than Horsetail Fall, where were they taken from? For example,

Re: Fire fall
February 21, 2012 02:30PM
Quote
Bob Weaver
For those photos that appear to be taken from a point higher in elevation than Horsetail Fall, where were they taken from? For example,

Bob, how are you posting this photo if you do not know how it was taken? You didn't take it? Who did?
Re: Fire fall
February 21, 2012 03:23PM
Quote
Bob Weaver
For those photos that appear to be taken from a point higher in elevation than Horsetail Fall, where were they taken from? For example,

I think this image only looks like it was taken from a higher view point. I believe it was taken from the Valley floor.
Re: Fire fall
February 21, 2012 04:36PM
If it was taken from the valley floor, then how could you see the snow on top of El Capitan? It seems like it could have been taken from some place like Taft Point or some other point on the south rim of the valley. Just wondered.
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 21, 2012 06:08PM
Quote
Bob Weaver

If it was taken from the valley floor, then how could you see the snow on top of El Capitan? It seems like it could have been taken from some place like Taft Point or some other point on the south rim of the valley. Just wondered.

Because the top of El Capitan is sloped, not level.

That photo you're referencing was most likely taken at the viewpoint by the Merced River near Southside Drive using a long telephoto lens. The viewpoint that Ohnivy-Drak and I had mentioned earlier on this thread. The one that's a little more than a half mile southwest of the Four Mile Trial trailhead off of Southside Drive.
.
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 21, 2012 09:05PM
I have a 15x zoom (5.0-75.0mm) on a digital camera. I have no idea what the 35mm equivalent is. As I remember 200mm on my 35mm camera this zoom seems at least as as much. I guess I will find out.

BTW, the lack of snow has allowed Mariposa Grove Rd open. We were able to drive all the way to the parking lot. That allowed us to take a longer hike than I had hoped. My daughter actually hung in for several hours and we got to see some big trees. grinning smiley
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 21, 2012 10:23PM
Glad to hear that you were able to have a nice hike through the Mariposa Grove with your daughter.

In regards to your camera, it depends on the size of your sensor. That said, most point & shoot zoom lenses start somewhere between at 24mm to 38mm equivalent of a 35mm-format film SLR. So at the very least, it would be a 24mm to 360mm equivalent zoom lens. More than enough to get a nice shot of Horsetail Fall from any location in Yosemite Valley.

Now just for hope for clear skies at sunset, and you'll be all set.
.
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 23, 2012 08:49PM
I thought today was going to be perfect. No clouds and water was flowing. Apparently not enough water. Must a few days ago they got okay photos. I'll post one that someone sent my wife that they took a few days ago. Oh well, it was worth the try.
Re: Fire fall
February 23, 2012 10:41PM
It's too bad some of the nice flow from LYF or Bridalveil can't be funneled towards Horsie. While there was slightly more water a few days ago, it hasn't been one of the better years for this (as you've stated). Still, I found it exciting. Learned some new stuff. I found that the colors were still really nice.

Please share whatever you have. Did you do any Nordic skiing or go one some nice hikes?
Re: Fire fall
February 24, 2012 12:12PM
Quote
Ohnivy-Drak
It's too bad some of the nice flow from LYF or Bridalveil can't be funneled towards Horsie. While there was slightly more water a few days ago, it hasn't been one of the better years for this (as you've stated). Still, I found it exciting. Learned some new stuff. I found that the colors were still really nice.

Please share whatever you have. Did you do any Nordic skiing or go one some nice hikes?
That would be awesome! They should install a pipe up there, and turn it on at sunset!
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 24, 2012 12:16PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Quote
Ohnivy-Drak
It's too bad some of the nice flow from LYF or Bridalveil can't be funneled towards Horsie. While there was slightly more water a few days ago, it hasn't been one of the better years for this (as you've stated). Still, I found it exciting. Learned some new stuff. I found that the colors were still really nice.

Please share whatever you have. Did you do any Nordic skiing or go one some nice hikes?
That would be awesome! They should install a pipe up there, and turn it on at sunset!

"Let the fire fall!"

"Turn on the water!"

Not quite the same.

(I know we're talking about Horsetail Fall and not the Glacier Point fire fall)



Old Dude



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/24/2012 12:18PM by mrcondron.
Re: Fire fall
February 24, 2012 02:57PM
Quote
Bob Weaver
If it was taken from the valley floor, then how could you see the snow on top of El Capitan? It seems like it could have been taken from some place like Taft Point or some other point on the south rim of the valley. Just wondered.

I would be fun/interesting, indeed, to get some shots from either Taft or Sentinel. Combined with some CC skiing from Badger, of course.
Re: Fire fall
February 17, 2012 02:53PM
I'm heading up there this Sunday; really hope there's water. I'm going to follow the suggestions in this blog post: http://blog.andrewkee.com/2010/02/23/photographing-yosemites-horsetail-falls/

From the blog:
Quote

Viewing Locations

There are two popular viewing locations, both giving a slightly different view of the falls. The first is from the El Capitan Picnic Area off of Northside Drive and the second is on Southside Drive east of the Cathedral Beach Picnic Area. I’m sure there are plenty of other locations in the valley to view the falls from. The most important thing here is to be east of the falls as the sun sets to the west. After scouting both locations, I decided that I liked the view from Southside Drive better. It is also worth mentioning that you should probably consider showing up several hours early to guarantee you get a good spot. I parked and headed down towards the river about 3 hours before sunset, and there were already 3 other photographers set up. An hour before sunset, there were more than 30 tripods and several hundred thousand dollars worth of photo gear onsite
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 17, 2012 02:58PM
The parking at the Southside Drive location is EXTREMELY limited. Space for about eight cars on one side of the road, and space for about six cars on the other side, IIRC. It might be less.) Plan to get there at least three hours before showtime if you want to find parking there. No restroom facilities nearby either.

.
Re: Fire fall
February 17, 2012 11:20PM
Near the 4-mile trailhead is a good viewing spot of the entire waterfall, along with the neighboring cliffs. If lucky, you might be able to capture a reflection from the Merced. Of course, the quality of the camera and type of lens used are the keys. I'm no expert by any stretch.

Needless to say, it'll likely be a zoo. Rangers will be out directing traffic.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/17/2012 11:21PM by Ohnivy-Drak.
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 17, 2012 11:39PM
That's the location that edg and I mentioned above. It's a very nice spot to view Horsetail Fall. The problem with it is simply the very limited amount of legal parking near it. It's located a little more than a half a mile southwest of the Four Mile Trail trailhead pullout on Southside Drive. The rangers will ticket anyone who parks illegally near there (parking outside of the official roadside pullouts).
.
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 18, 2012 12:03PM
Thanks. I will have the family with me and just using a point and shoot camera. El Cap picnic area sounds like tne place for us. Thanks again. Keeping my fingers crossed...
Re: Fire fall
February 20, 2012 08:36PM
And now that it has been on the front page of Yahoo news, expect a lot more people!



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Re: Fire fall
February 25, 2012 11:41AM
Quote
balzaccom
And now that it has been on the front page of Yahoo news, expect a lot more people!

Since the media tends to use hyperbole, there's probably a good portion of visitors that leave disappointed. Some might not be able to find it at all - because unless you know where to look, it's easy to miss. Not an obvious waterfall, to say the least. Visitors usually see Bridalveil, then YF. Expecting something similar from Horsie, it isn't surprising to drive by and miss it.

And I wonder how many photos posted on the web have been digitally altered through photoshop apps. Not that you can't get legit photos with the right cameras and conditions. :p
Re: Fire fall
February 20, 2012 08:23PM
To got a good shot you need a telephoto zoom at least 150mm to 200mm. The fall is VERY tiny, and high up on the shoulder of El Capitan.
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 20, 2012 09:29PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
To got a good shot you need a telephoto zoom at least 150mm to 200mm

For what sensor/film size?
Re: Fire fall
February 21, 2012 07:56AM
Quote
eeek
Quote
hotrod4x5
To got a good shot you need a telephoto zoom at least 150mm to 200mm

For what sensor/film size?
Good point, that is for full frame (35mm) I will admit, it has been a while since I shot it, I know I used my 70-200, but maybe I wasn't zoomed in that much. I'll have to go back and look at the EXIF on some of my shots.
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 21, 2012 11:48AM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Quote
eeek
Quote
hotrod4x5

To got a good shot you need a telephoto zoom at least 150mm to 200mm

For what sensor/film size?

Good point, that is for full frame (35mm) I will admit, it has been a while since I shot it, I know I used my 70-200, but maybe I wasn't zoomed in that much. I'll have to go back and look at the EXIF on some of my shots.

If you're photographing Horsetail Fall from Southside Drive (along the Merced River), then a 70-200mm zoom lens would come in handy on a 35mm film format (or digital equivalent) camera.
.
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 20, 2012 11:08PM
Quote
hotrod4x5

To got a good shot you need a telephoto zoom at least 150mm to 200mm. The fall is VERY tiny, and high up on the shoulder of El Capitan.

From the El Capitan Picnic Area Parking Lot, Horsetail Fall isn't that tiny. One can get a nice shot of it and El Cap with a 35mm format equivalent of a 105mm lens. Many zoom lenses on P&S cameras do extend that far out.
.
Re: Fire fall
February 22, 2012 10:20AM
For the last couple of days, the orange-reddish color appeared between 5:40 - 5:45 PM. Sun begins hitting Horsetail approx. 5:27, turning it yellow-goldish. Virtually no snow across the north rim, FYI. There's barely a trickle going over the brink, but it's enough for the effect. The sky doesn't get too dark, so adjust your exposure settings to darken the background/wall areas surrounding Horsie to really bring out the red.
Re: Fire fall
February 22, 2012 11:48AM
Also, be sure to get there super early if you want to find parking near the El Cap picnic area. I didn't show up until 5ish and it was completely parked up. Between the lack of parking and the lack of water, I decided to wait until next year to try to get the shot.

Here's a head-on shot at 5:32 from the east end of El Cap meadow.

Horsetail (non)Fall II by edg13, on Flickr



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2012 11:48AM by edg.
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 22, 2012 12:32PM
Quote
edg

Also, be sure to get there super early if you want to find parking near the El Cap picnic area. I didn't show up until 5ish and it was completely parked up. Between the lack of parking and the lack of water, I decided to wait until next year to try to get the shot.


There's a point of diminishing returns of arriving super early to the viewpoints.

An alternative if you're not carrying a lot of photo gear (i.e. just a point & shoot camera):

The El Cap picnic area is pretty much an easy 2 and 1/4 mile hike via the Valley Loop Trail + a short cross-country detour through meadows and trees from the massive Yosemite Lodge parking lot. The view point off of Southside Drive is about a one and a half mile hike via the bike path to Swinging Bridge and then hiking along Southside Drive (be careful though when hiking along the road – a lot of bad and distracted driving along Yosemite roads).

So instead of arriving super early in years like this year where there's basically very little or no snow on the valley floor, an alternative when traveling light is to hike in from the Lodge. Or if there's parking, from the long pullout along El Cap Meadow.

But be sure to bring flashlights or headlights for the hike back to the lodge or El Cap Meadow, since it will get dark shortly after the light show.

On the other hand, there's been years when, because the amount of ice and snow along the valley trails in February, it would make this alternative bit impractical except for the more hardy of hikers. But that's not a problem this year.

.
Re: Fire fall
February 22, 2012 01:19PM
That's a great suggestion. Had I had more time I would have done just that to void the crazy parking and stretch the legs.
Re: Fire fall
February 22, 2012 01:52PM
Most of the pullouts along Northside, nearby El Cap, were filled. Within the picnic area, let's just say people were creative when it came to parking. I got there both days around 4:45. I'm with PLawrence that arriving too early is a bit wasteful. There's too many other things to do to just sit there for several hours waiting for the show.

It's definitely not the best of years, water-wise. What I found most interesting was how the sun only hits that spot. It really doesn't hit anywhere else along that huge wall, at least from that angle. Didn't light up the Three Brothers. As it faded, Horsie looked pinkish, then the sun basically disappeared. The water certainly enhances things, but the sun still brings the color even w/o water. The ice on the wall helped with the colors/reflection. The lava flow effects are limited w/o water, of course.
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 22, 2012 02:05PM
POST PICTURE <HERE>



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Fire fall
February 22, 2012 07:21PM
Let's see how many edits this will take, hehe.

Do you really want to see my junky pictures? You can go anytime and get your own shots, no?



Not sure what happened, but I just created another link.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2012 10:29PM by Ohnivy-Drak.
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 22, 2012 07:01PM
Quote
Ohnivy-Drak

It's definitely not the best of years, water-wise. What I found most interesting was how the sun only hits that spot. It really doesn't hit anywhere else along that huge wall, at least from that angle. Didn't light up the Three Brothers.


No. When the sun lights up Horsetail Fall, it actually lights up Sentinel Rock at the same time (not the Three Brothers). Next time, turn around 180º and you'll see Sentinel Rock turn a bright florescent pink.


[ This shade of pink (but brighter) Chick-on is looking at you! ]
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 22, 2012 07:18PM
Quote
plawrence
[ This shade of pink (but brighter) Chick-on is looking at you! ]

Are you saying the Chick-on avec les pieds isn't bright?
avatar Re: Fire fall
February 24, 2012 06:04AM
tongue sticking out smiley

Tanks for sharon ur peekchure OVD.

I've only tried to see Horsie lit up once. It was a cluster with a zillion faux toe hogs ...
so we walked in the snow further west to our own little spot (and I couldn't resist
climbing around on El Cap) ... anywho... due to clouds ... no show.
This year... we just decided to head home ...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Fire fall
February 23, 2012 10:31PM
It seems some of my shots turned out rather pinkish.

Thanks for the tip, I'll keep that in mind.
Re: Fire fall
February 24, 2012 06:42PM
As for parking at the El Cap picnic area...the rangers coned off some of the right lane of Northside Drive. "Special event." So there was some LEGAL parking on the road this afternoon. smiling smiley
Re: Fire fall
February 25, 2012 07:39PM
Color on Horsetail was a no show this evening. No doubt a lot of disappointed photographers. But Sentinel Dome did turn a little pink. (We were right underneath it...)
Re: Fire fall
February 25, 2012 09:51PM
Quote
hikerchick395
Color on Horsetail was a no show this evening. No doubt a lot of disappointed photographers. But Sentinel Dome did turn a little pink. (We were right underneath it...)

Darn. Was it due to cloudiness or lack of water? Or have we moved past the window already, in terms of sun angle?
Re: Fire fall
February 27, 2012 08:09AM
The sun dropped into clouds at the last minute. There was color the night before.
avatar Re: Fire fall
March 03, 2012 09:37PM
Re: Fire fall
March 03, 2012 10:16PM
Very nice. The recent rainfall has helped the flow. And the window is clearly still open. Not much longer though.

Btw, I know my camera isn't the greatest for this. But I wonder what made my photos come out different in color. The conditions? Settings? Lack of skill? Poor viewing spot?

And what would the scene look like from a spot like Turtleback?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/2012 10:22PM by Ohnivy-Drak.
avatar Re: Fire fall
March 03, 2012 10:35PM
Quote
Ohnivy-Drak
And what would the scene look like from a spot like Turtleback?

You have to be in a position to have the fall back-lit. Turtleback is way to the west of the fall and would not yield anything.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Fire fall
March 04, 2012 06:36AM
Quote
Ohnivy-Drak
But I wonder what made my photos come out different in color. The conditions? Settings? Lack of skill? Poor viewing spot?

Did the color differ from what you saw? If so, it's probably the camera trying to adjust for what it thinks the light source is.
Re: Fire fall
March 04, 2012 07:43AM
Quote
eeek
Take a look at this one:

http://littleredtent.net/LRTblog/2012/03/03/horsetail-fall-march-3rd-2012/


What is strange, to me, about that photo is that the trees are still in the sun. I guess that comes with the late date.
avatar Re: Fire fall
March 06, 2012 12:05AM
Quote
eeek

Take a look at this one:

http://littleredtent.net/LRTblog/2012/03/03/horsetail-fall-march-3rd-2012/

And this is how Sentinel Rock looked on March 3rd about the same time that Edie took her photo (linked above):

avatar Re: Fire fall
March 06, 2012 01:04AM
And here are a couple of my photos that I took last Saturday (March 3rd) at about the same time that Edie took hers:

avatar Re: Fire fall
March 06, 2012 09:46AM
Wow, I would have been happy with any of those! Best laid plans of mice and men...
Re: Fire fall
March 04, 2012 07:53AM



I only got two shots with this color on the first day. (Feb 24) The previous ones were light yellow and the following ones were light pink. So, even if the sun manages to shine at the right time, it depends on the atmosphere that it is setting on what color appears. Last year, we had color for much longer on the dates that we were there.

On Saturday the 25th this year, we had a great vantage point but no color...the miniscule falls remained bright white. Yet Sentinel Rock was briefly pink.
avatar Re: Fire fall
March 06, 2012 01:37AM
Quote
hikerchick395

On Saturday the 25th this year, we had a great vantage point but no color...the miniscule falls remained bright white. Yet Sentinel Rock was briefly pink.


I was there on Saturday, Feb. 25, too. While Horsetail Fall didn't turn completely pink or red, it did manage to turn orange before the sun went behind a cloud. (A near lack of water was the bigger problem on the 25th.)

Here are a couple of photos I took of Horsetail Fall on Saturday, Feb 25, 2012:

avatar Re: Fire fall
March 06, 2012 06:30AM
Tanks for Sharon!

Bowing to his greatness



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Fire fall
March 06, 2012 09:16AM
Well, I guess that our vantage point was not so great! We would've needed more volumne of water to make it work...
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