Rainbows and Moonbows - Harold Fritsche

Rainbows and Moonbows

     Last year I visited Yosemite National Park.  What a magnificent place, especially for a photographer.

     On what was to be my last day there, I decided to try to emulate Ansel Adams' iconic Moonrise at Half Dome shot.  About an hour before moonrise, I set up in a meadow near the Ahwahnee Lodge.  As frequently happens when a photographer with his camera and tripod are set up, passers-by stopped to talk.

     The first to stop was an elderly gentleman who after a few moments of chat, asked me if I was here to shoot the moonbow.  I had no idea what he was referring to, so he told the story.  Apparently a couple of times each year, in the spring when the falls are flowing well and around the time of the full moon, the alignment  is right so that the full moon causes a mooonbow to form on Yosemite Falls... both upper and lower falls.  I didn't know that.

Sunset Gold on Half Dome

      Not long after the gentleman left, a husband and wife stopped by.  The wife asked about my camera and informed me that she, too, was an avid photographer.  She then related a story of her own.  She, like me, had struck up a conversation with a stranger who told her that every day in mid-afternoon, if the sun was out, a rainbow forms on Bridalveil Fall.  If viewed from Tunnel View, another iconic spot made famous by Ansel Adams, the scene can be quite spectacular.  She related that in response, she had gone to the viewpoint and waited... and waited.  As she was beginning to lose hope, a golden glow began to form near the bottom of the fall.  Over the next half-hour-or-so, she said other colors formed and slowly moved up the fall until it ran out of spray near the top.    

     Between these two stories, i decided to extend my stay and the following video is the result of my efforts     

  Enjoy!


Moonrise at Half Dome