At first glance, flames appear to be rising out of the iconic Half Dome in Yosemite National Park with smoke surrounding the majestic peak.
At least it looks like Half Dome is on fire in the photo. Or perhaps the fire is behind Half Dome.
Turns out, it’s neither. It’s a photo that only looks like a fire, taken at the right place at the right time by Austin Jenanyan, a 20-year-old photographer currently working the summer at Glacier National Park in Montana.
Jenanyan called the amazing image “Fire and ice collide at sunrise in Yosemite,” and explained in an email to GrindTV how he got the shot:
“I was photographing reflections of an icy Half Dome along the Merced River before the sun came up when I noticed a lone cloud starting to form around Half Dome. I switched lenses and zoomed in to get a close-up.
“After several shots, the cloud started to change shape and eventually morphed into the exact shape of a flame. It was incredible to witness as it looked like Half Dome was on fire! It lasted only a few short moments before dissipating. All in all a very surreal and magical experience.”
Jenanyan captured the photo on February 28, but its first public exposure came via the U.S. Department of Interior Facebook page, which posted it last week with Jenanyan’s blessing.
“It did really well on all their accounts: Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and especially on Facebook,” Jenanyan told GrindTV. “It was by far the most popular photo to date. People were really fascinated by it.”
Which is hardly a surprise. It is fascinating.
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