Photographers gather in Yosemite to capture spectacular waterfall ‘on fire’

Horsetail Firefalls at Yosemite, shot by Dan Zafra
(Image credit: Dan Zafra / Capture The Atlas)

Have you ever seen a waterfall on fire? Every year for a few precious hours the Horsetail Falls in California’s Yosemite National Park appears to glow as if it’s burning, resembling the magma pouring out of a volcano. 

It's one of those ‘secret’ photography events that you have to know about long in advance, carefully plan for, and execute with precision. However, the details of when and where to capture one of the most spectacular annual natural shows in the world – the ‘Horsetail Firefall’ phenomenon – are quickly becoming common knowledge among landscape photographers. 

Sony A1 with FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS. 1/80sec at fl11, ISO100. (Image credit: Dan Zafra / Capture The Atlas)
Sony A7R Mark IV with FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6 G OSS. 1/50sec at fl11, ISO100. (Image credit: Dan Zafra / Capture The Atlas)

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Jamie Carter
Astrophotography expert

Jamie has been writing about all aspects of technology for over 14 years, producing content for sites like TechRadar, T3, Forbes, Mashable, MSN, South China Morning Post, and BBC Wildlife, BBC Focus and BBC Sky At Night magazines. 

As the editor for, he has a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise for all things astrophotography, from capturing the Perseid Meteor Shower, lunar eclipses and ring of fire eclipses, photographing the moon and blood moon and more.

He also brings a great deal of knowledge on action cameras, 360 cameras, AI cameras, camera backpacks, telescopes, gimbals, tripods and all manner of photography equipment.