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The Wonder of Light – Lava Or Water?

Posted in Musing About Art, and Other Artist Work

Light is such a big part of art .  How a subject is lit, where the lighting is coming from, how the lighting changes the colors are some of the lighting questions that come into play with how a  painting is composed.  What type of lighting  – natural  sunlight, incandescent, florescent light, all cast different shades of white onto a painting. The "perfect " light is natural sunlight.

Now what happens when nature decides to throw a curve ball into the "perfect"  lighting with a spectacular sunset?

AP photo by Bethany Gediman, Daily Mail

This AP photo was taken by Bethany Gediman –  courtesy of the Daily Mail

Is it lava flowing down the cliff? Or is it just a simple waterfall?

"A window of time just opened in Yosemite National Park when nature photographers wait, as if for an eclipse, until the moment when the sun and earth align to create a fleeting phenomenon. This marvel of celestial configuration happens in a flash at sunset in mid-February — if the winter weather cooperates.  On those days the setting sun illuminates one of the park's lesser-known waterfalls so precisely that it resembles molten lava as it flows over the sheer granite face of the imposing El Capitan."  UK Daily Mail.

Youtube photo clip courtesty of   UK Daily Mail of Yosemite waterfall

Youtube photo clip courtesy of UK Daily Mail
"…Photographers look for 
the lowest angle of light that will paint Horsetail the colors of an iridescent sunset as rays reflect off granite behind the water. It materializes in varying degrees of intensity for the same two weeks every year.  'If you hit it at just the right time, it turns this amazing color of gold or red-orange,' said Frye, a photo instructor with the Ansel Adams Gallery in the park." – Daily Mail

How  cool is that?!



  1. wow! This is so neat. I would have definitely thought it was lava had you not told that story. What a cool phenomenon. 

    February 21, 2012
    • Sibstudio

      I thought it was lava too! Really is something to behold!

      February 21, 2012
  2. Amazing!  thanks so much for sharing these beautiful photos!  Visiting via the EBT.


    February 21, 2012
    • Sibstudio

      Welcome Christine! What fun is must be trying to catch a photo before it is gone!

      February 21, 2012

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