“Yosemite has become a very special place for me to enjoy my photography. Recently, I have been sharing this with my son, Vincent, who started with his first DSLR when he was 11. We arrived at the park on an extremely busy day of the Memorial Day weekend, 2013. Parking was tough so we had to hike from the opposite end of Cooks Meadow to get to the falls. The moonbow was predicted to occur around 11:30 pm and we had ample time to find our locations and frame our shots.
“The image was pre-visualized from the start. Planning of this shoot started the previous year during my first attempt to catch Yosemite’s Lunar Rainbow at Upper Yosemite Falls. I was so taken by both the images that I took and the large number of photographers that were there that evening that I knew I would return the following year.
“I wanted to include some foreground to give depth to my image but still wanted stars included in the frame. It was luck that I included enough room for the Big Dipper to be seen! I tried to use the shortest exposure time to minimize the movement of the stars yet I did not want noise to ruin my image. I chose an ISO of 800 and a 43 second exposure, I feel it was a good balance. We were fortunate that the waterfall had enough flow and the winds were relatively calm to minimize the mist landing on our lenses. By the end of the night we all had the system down of shoot- cover- wipe lens- shoot again. We all came back with great images.
“One process which worked well for the image was to make an adjustment layer with NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 to bring out the structure and lighten/ darken areas of the image that I felt needed to be adjusted. I feel this gave me a lot of control over the scene of the image.”
Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF17-40mm f/4L USM lens, Really Right Stuff L bracket, Sunway Photo DB-44 ball head, Slik 700DX tripod, Satechi Smart Trigger