California's Spectacular Falls of Light: Where Are They Found? Is it possible to visit them?

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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Waterfalls are very fascinating natural phenomena, not only for the spectacle of the water that leaps up to several hundred meters but also for the danger of their power. Is it possible to add further appeal and a pinch of magic to a naturally beautiful scenery? This is probably the same question that two San Francisco photographers asked themselves. From their creativity it was born the project called Neon Luminance. Are you curious to know what this is all about?


  1. The spectacular waterfalls of Light
  2. What is the explanation of the phenomenon?
  3. Where are? Is it possible to visit them?
  4. User questions and comments

The spectacular waterfalls of Light

What at first glance may seem an excellent example of the use of the famous Photoshop graphics software is revealed instead a creation sprung from the minds of two photographers. “This project is the realization of months of elaboration of a simple idea that has finally turned into a concept worthy of every effort,” said one of the two photographers, Kristoffer Abildgaard. The phenomenon, applied to several waterfalls located in Northern California, allows for observe neon lights in the pouring waters. Even though this type of lighting is completely unnatural and tied exclusively to the photography session, the final result of Neon Luminance is very harmonious.

What is the explanation of the phenomenon?

The two very young photographers, Sean Lenz and Kristoffer Abildgaard, studied an original way to "color" the water without the risk of polluting it. Using colored lightsticks - those emergency lights often used by fishermen, that is of silicone cylinders containing chemicals that emit light - they took long exposure photographs. The shots followed the course of the water even during the natural leaps, the very ones that form the falls. An idea as simple as it is extremely scenic that has allowed transform waterfalls into underwater nocturnal rainbows. The team of photographers also used other types of lighting to harmonize the surrounding nature as well, taking advantage of the moon's nocturnal glow. The photographs were taken with exposures lasting from 30 seconds to 7 minutes. The project was completed in a couple of months thanks to the coordinated work of the two photographers. While the first released the lightsticks into the water, the other took care of taking the photographs at the foot of the waterfall. For those who are already worrying about the possible pollution caused by the chemicals of the glow sticks, do not worry. The project managers specified that the substances contained within them never came into contact with water and the sticks themselves were all collected once the photo session was over.

Where are? Is it possible to visit them?

Not being a natural phenomenon but a kind of temporary installation used by the two photographers for their shooting, it is not possible to visit the luminous falls. It is, in fact, of private photo sets organized by the studio called From The Lens. It should also be added that the effect is achieved only thanks to the long exposure of the shots: personally witnessing the photo sessions you would only notice the light sticks floating and following the course of the water. Furthermore, there is no precise location where the two photographers take the shots, but they choose different California waterfalls as they go. What remains is to enjoy the show through the numerous images made by the two artists.

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