• This section is 320 feet high. The entire waterfall is 2425 feet high!
  • I wanted each bubble to paint a little line in the water. A longer exposure would turn the water into milk!
  • I included this tree on the edge to frame it a little and show that there is no lens distortion from such a wide-angle shot.
  • The upper falls are here, but are hidden in the mist.
  • This mist actually flows down hill right to where I'm standing. I was constantly wiping off the grad filters even while protecting the camera from the rain.
  • I used the corner here as an exit point for the water. Other compositions just didn't feel right.
  • I was on a slippery rock like this one, with just an inch of room above the water. The tripod was in the water in a somewhat precarious spot. But I wanted this angle so that is what I had to do.
  • I love this - sdosick
  • Congrats on FP!!! - www.matthansenphotography.com
  • I ilke the mist - searcher101 ( charging up )
  • This is a great detail! - FritsKlijn
  • How did you protect the camera in the rain?? - Jyoti'S... on a not so short break. :)
  • I hid under the bridge, plus I had an umbrella over the camera!

The Lower Falls - Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

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It was a misty and foggy sunrise at 2425 foot Yosemite Falls. Here, only the bottom 320 feet are visible but it is still an impressive waterfall when the volume is high, like on this morning. No HDR.

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Settings etc.:

Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 17-40L @ 20 (very wide to get it all into the frame)
1.0-second exposure @F20 (only 1 sec to show movement and show detail too)
10 minutes after sunrise
LEE soft ND grad (100x150mm) 0.9
Lee foundation kit filter holder with Lee 77mm adapter ring
No polarizer.
ISO 50
Small Slik tripod with Manfrotto pistol grip ball head
An umbrella with a towel to cover the camera
RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One
TIFF file processed with Photoshop

I think that a misty rainy day is the best time to capture a tall waterfall like this. There is more atmosphere, the mist from the falls shows up better and the soft light accentuates the color. The problem comes when you are trying to hop across slippery rocks with an umbrella and the tripod in one hand and a long walking stick for balance in the other hand. I'm glad that nobody saw me. There was nobody here at this time because of the rain and the time of day. Usually this place is crawling with tourists.

I used a 1 second exposure because a shorter exposure would freeze the water in place and a longer one turned the water into milk. This length allowed the water to paint the lower part of the image for me.

Can you believe that the waterfall you see is actually just the bottom 10% of the entire falls? The rest is hidden in the mist above.

The map shows exactly where this is. It is an easy 0.5-mile hike from the nearest road.

See my Flickr profile for a link to my newly designed website.

elginz, Rezoan Ratul, Wiffsmiff23, and 1105 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. Derrick_Nguyen 47 months ago | reply

    Wow, magical and so beautiful!

  2. Photo--Graphy [deleted] 47 months ago | reply

    Very nice shot

  3. Josh Chaim [deleted] 46 months ago | reply

    Love this one, such detail and natural beauty - amazing.

  4. Tiziano Taddei 45 months ago | reply

    Semplicemente magica.......................Complimenti, amico mio....................

  5. Ganymede - 4000k views Thks! 44 months ago | reply

    I saw this in the 900+ Faves group and Faved it.

  6. sankar debbarma 44 months ago | reply

    oh berry nice picture>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  7. Woodzi 43 months ago | reply

    A more than perfect picture! Amazing shot!

  8. Andy Qiang 43 months ago | reply

    beautiful shot!

  9. binladiya 39 months ago | reply

    Muy buena!!!

  10. Latitude360Photos 38 months ago | reply

    Beautiful capture !!

  11. m3rw1n's trav3logue 38 months ago | reply

    Wonderfully created shot c)

  12. Francisco Aragão 37 months ago | reply

    Wow, beautiful place !

  13. unicorn 81 33 months ago | reply

    lovely image

  14. Anto57 - 29 months ago | reply


  15. Jenny Rainbow 29 months ago | reply

    Perfect execution and choice of exposure!

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