Moonbows over Yosemite – a 2 year timelapse project

by planetMitch2 Comments

Steven Bumgardner sent us this awesome behind the scenes (BTS) video to go with his very beautiful video of Moonbows over Yosemite – something that he shot for Yosemite Nature Notes over a period of 2 years with his Canon EOS 5D Mark II (reviews)! Now that's dedication!

Greetings! I'm the producer of Yosemite Nature Notes and my newest episode features many timelapse sequence of lunar rainbows, or moonbows, on the tallest waterfall in N. America, Yosemite Falls.

I shot the sequences on a 5DM2, taking over 20K images (over 2 years) in the process.

Yosemite Nature Notes – Episode 15 – Moonbows

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The BTS video!

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Steven's notes

The moonbows of Yosemite Falls are phenomenon that has been experienced and photographed for decades. Even John Muir wrote about these lunar spray-bows, as he called them, back in the 1800's. If the skies are clear, there are about a dozen days a year that you can shoot a moonbow in Yosemite, usually around the full moons of April, May and June when the water is high and generating lots of mist.

I shot this timelapse video over two seasons, taking over 20,000 images of these lunar rainbows in the process. I had several nights where clouds blocked the moon, causing the moonbow to disappear. One shot was ruined when a late-night work crew showed up with huge flood lights. in really high water, I burned out the motor on my spinning rain deflector, a unique device that kept my lens dry for the 2 to 3 hour timelapse sequences, and a $300 battery got fried when water got in. I even had a shot ruined by my own headlamp.

I also spent 20 nights fully immersed in the amazing landscape of Yosemite with fellow moon-bro's such as Tom Lowe, Jeff Morris, Shawn Reeder, and Josh Helling. We found moonbows on several waterfalls, and shot things that most people have never heard of, or even imagined.

Steve also has a youtube channel.

What do you think? Pretty amazing huh? Sound off in the comments

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


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