Yosemite Moonbow 2012

Started Jul 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Yosemite Moonbow 2012
Jul 2, 2012

Hi everybody

I thought I would share this picture with you as it is something you do not see everyday. In fact, you only see it on a handful of days each year as it is only visible with a very bright (near) full moon at the correct angle, a cloudless sky and enough melting water in the Yosemite Falls. Thus, the best days are usually in late spring after snow-rich winters. Since the human eye's color reception is pretty bad at low light the Moonbow appears as a silvery streak instead of a full-colored rainbow. Only by using a camera the colors can be revealed. So, do not despair if the Moonbow is not immediately visible!

There was a surprisingly large number of photographers at the Lower Yosemite Falls when I arrived there. Some were taking pictures and some were cursing about their cameras not being able to focus, but all in all it was a very civilized, quiet and friendly crowd.

Locking focus was actually a big problem with the E-M5 as well, with live view boost I was just barely able to focus on the brightest parts of the rocks (using manual focus, of course). Even a full moon does not provide that much light, after all. It would have been a bit easier with either the 14mm/2.5 or 12mm/2 as they are about twice or three times as bright as the 14-45 which I have used, thus allowing for a less noisy and brighter live view image.

The shot was taken on the 3rd of June. I have used ISO 400, 60s exposure time and F4.5. With dark frame subtraction this meant a full 2 minutes in between two images - which could be used to enjoy this marvel of nature without looking at a LCD display.

The Moonbow window for 2012 is closed, but if you are lucky enough to be able to attend one of the Moonbow days in 2013 I highly recommend it! The dates will be published on the Yosemite National Park website.

 MatW's gear list:MatW's gear list
Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
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