firefall

Yosemite Firefall: A Photographer’s Guide in 2022

We photographers generally have long lists of projects we want to do and then we have our bucket list items -- those things we can only hope we someday get a chance to shoot. As a nature and landscape photographer, the big three on my bucket list were the Subway at Zion, Fly Geyser, and Yosemite’s Firefall.

My Experience Shooting the Yosemite Horsetail Firefall

My name is Aaron Chen, and I'm a photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was in Yosemite for the 2019 Firefall and would love to share my experience so that others can do it themselves!

A History of the Yosemite Firefall and Tips for Photographing It

Each year from summer of 1872, the owners of Glacier Point hotel started the event of Yosemite Firefall. For seven nights a week, they would spill hot embers from Glacier Point down to the valley 3000 feet below. The event ended in 1968 when the National Park Service ordered it to stop because the overwhelming number of visitors that it attracted overwhelmed the meadows, and because it was not a natural event. NPS wanted to preserve the Valley, returning it to its natural state.

Capturing the Incredibly Rare Moonlit Firefall at Yosemite

This is the famous and elusive Horsetail "Firefall" in Yosemite National Park, but unlike every other image you may have seen—taken near sunset around February—the fire effect in this image is caused by moonlight. That's the only possible way one could see the firefall and stars at the same time.

Photos of ‘Firefall’, When a Yosemite Waterfall Looks Like Lava

For a short time every February, when conditions are just right, Horsetail Falls in Yosemite gets transformed by a phenomenon known as "firefall." When the sunlight hits the water just right, the waterfall looks like molten lava flowing down the side of El Capitan.

Photographer Sangeeta Dey was there to see and capture the firefall this year, and her above photo has been going viral.