Horsetail Falls Golden Glow
Between February 16th and February 23rd every year, the setting sun illuminates Horsetail Falls, tumbling down El Capitan, in such a way as to illuminate the waterfall in vibrant reds and oranges so it appears like a lava flow. In addition to the angle of the sun at a particular time of year, the conditions have to be just right for this to happen: ample water flow in the falls as well as clear skies, unobscured by clouds, in the direction of the setting sun.
We arrived at the park, and found our chosen location just before noon, more than 5 hours before the firefall was to occur. There were clear skies all afternoon, and decent flow due to rain a few days before, which foreboded well for us to witness this. At approximately 5:15, just as the light began turning a slightly warmer color, and the red glow was to appear, the sun dipped below a low lying cloud cover, extinguishing the color we hoped to see. Not all was lost, as we got to witness this beautiful golden color just prior, and we got to spend an afternoon in Yosemite, meeting and talking with other friendly photographers, which is never a bad thing! All in all, I'm sure we will try again in the future, but for 2016, this was our only shot!