Ephemeral, Eternal

Yet another image from my trip to Yosemite Valley this past May. I stop by Fern Springs every time around the valley loop, especially in the spring. Perhaps one of the most photographed “mini icons” in the park and a required stop on the workshop circuit. And for good reason, I’ve photographed this many times over the years. Never tire of it.

This will dry up by late summer so technically it’s ephemeral, or temporary. But there’s an eternal presence with these tiny cascades and the pure, natural spring providing the gift of life’s refreshement, before emptying in to the Merced river less than 50 yards away.

Specific Feedback Requested

Nothing unique or spectacular about this, but it’s always fun trying to incoroporate the reflections in the preceeding pool. Cropped from the original.

Your comments and feedback are always welcome.

Technical Details

Nikon D800E 28-300mm @100mm, f/20 1/4s iso 400. Single frame


A great little scene, Lon. Your choice of crop is very good. I also like that the green is in the reflections as well as the area behind the fall.


This is a really excellent image - very pleasing on the eyes. I love the green reflection. I also like how you handled the white balance of the water that wasn’t in reflection to look … like water. =)

Nice take on that special place in Yosemite, Lon. I like how you focused in on one small spill of water. Very cool.

Excellent capture of a mini fall. I like that the actual “fall” is so crisp but at the bottom the longer exposure smooths the water out. I’ve seen (and taken) lots of autumn reflection photos but haven’t seen a “green” one so well done.

This is a classic Lon Overacker image in both subject matter and the way the water is handled. I kind of like that little moss peaking out from under the falls.

I wanted to ask about the greenish color because I just passed up a very similar composition a few hours ago and the reflections were much more yellow. I’m just curious how this would look if the greenish yellows were warmer.

Great composition, particularly with the splash foam forming distinct patterns well away from the frame.

Thia is both beautiful and calming Lon. The green reflection, the gentle flow of water, and swirl of water in the lower pool harmonize to make a beautiful image. Love it.

Thank you all for the comments and kind words. I appreciate them all very much.

The reflections are big leaf maples in the spring. And backlit. Pretty much limey-green. Yes, a big yellow component of course, but if I’m interpreting right, I think you mean more yellow, like autumn yellow? Well, here is the canopy providing the light and color.

Thank you @Ola_Jovall , @David_Bostock , @Matt_Payne , @Mary_Lane_Anderson and @Igor_Doncov !

Lon! That color wash reflection in the water is tremendous. I’m really digging that part of the photo.

Excellent take on Fern Springs. One of the best I have seen.

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Wow I love this image! Never seen anything like this before, particularly the green reflections on the horizontal level of the water that abruptly stop as soon as the angle of incident light becomes less shallow. So much to look at in addition to the wonderful top part: the mossy wet rock on the left, the curtain of water that falls so gracefully, the mossy rock behind the curtain, the soft curving shapes of the drawn-out water flows and last but not least, the little green plant on the left edge of the waterfall which anchors the eye in that area of the image, drawing attention to detail there, specifically behind the curtain. A real beauty!

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All said above – so well done! The bones of the image are very strong, and the sprinkling of detail is lovely – the perfect touch! This may be the smallest landscape icon,but a most worthy one.

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This is such an inviting image Lon. So many interesting elements for my eyes to explore in this micro world. The greens on the top floor, the the glassy waterfalls in the middle and then the surging spray on the ground floor. Congrats on your creation.

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