At approximately 3,326 meters high, Cathedral Peak in California’s Yosemite National Park is an outstanding pinnacle just off of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It derives its name from its square shape, having resisted erosion above the glaciers for centuries. It is also the setting of the spectacular video below.
The whole scenario seemed crazy … I was over a mile away from my subject, who was walking a tightrope with certain death consequences if he fell. I was running through the woods with $20,000 worth of camera gear, making the most unique photo of my career. I’m still a bit amazed that I managed to stick the shot.
Moonwalk by Bryan Smith is part of a National Geographic Channel series called The Man Who Can Fly. This particular scene features Dean Potter walking on a highline between two enormous rocks. Potter is a record-breaking climber who lives in Yosemite and for over a year, he’s insisted that the moon would provide a stunning backdrop for the stunt. He finally convinced photographer Mikey Schaefer to capture the shot. Schaefer used a Canon 5D Mark II and an 800mm, f/5.6 lens with a 2X doubler as well as an app called The Photographer’s Ephemeris The app helped Schaefer find the exact point where the moon would rise. He set himself up on an adjacent ridge almost 2 km from Cathedral Peak at 7:30 PM, allowing him the perfect balance of exposure between Potter and the moon.