The Yosemite National Park, California, USA
This park was gazetted as a national park in 1890. It is world famous for its rugged terrain, geysers, waterfalls and century-old pine trees. It covers 1200 sq km and the “fire” waterfall of El Capitan is 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 during 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 it. The reason is because its appearance depends on a few natural phenomena occurring at the same time, and luck.
First 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 be much snow left to melt.
Second is the specific angle of the sun’s rays 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 during the short minutes of dusk. If it is a day full of clouds or something is obscuring 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.
However, someone DID and we all get to see them in the slide-show below: