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Earth Shadow or Antitwilight Arch

Earth Shadow or Antitwilight Arch
Photo Information
Copyright: Emma Taylor (Aramok) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-15
Categories: Mountain, Sky
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 24-105mm F/4.0 L IS USM, Digital ISO 100, Lee Filter System
Exposure: f/16, 8 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Travelogue: Scotland - October 2009
Date Submitted: 2010-01-16 4:32
Viewed: 5197
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Earth Shadow or Antitwilight Arch

I thought I would include a science lesson with this photo because it is actually a sunset photo taken with its back to the sunset. In other words this is taken at sunset but facing East, 180 degrees away from the sunset.

I'll do my best to explain this in my words as I understand it - but I am not a physicist or astronomer, I trained as a chemist...

Right - here goes.

First of all what is the Antitwilight Arch (or ATA)? Well this is a band of pinkish sky in the east - sometimes known as the Belt of Venus. I have always personally thought of this as a reflected sunset - and from what I can tell - that is almost exactly what it is - you need still, dusty conditions and usually very clear, cloudless skies where the dust particles in the atmosphere basically reflect the sunset's rays back to the eastern horizon.

OK - so what is the Earth Shadow - well in a nutshell it is exactly what it says - the shadow of the earth - but start thinking for a minute - in order to observe a shadow, you need for it to fall onto something such as the ground. So what is the shadow of the earth falling on that allows us to observe it? Well its the atmosphere itself.

Finally the area between the Earth's shadow and the Antitwilight Arch is called the Twilight Ray.

OK - so what can you see in my picture - well all of it - but the Workshop shows the Earth Shadow much more clearly.

The Antitwilight Arch - the pink band is very obvious.
The Earth Shadow - can be seen in the far right hand side of the picture, where the mountains drop to the loch - that is the darker band in the sky - again the Workshop shows this more clearly.
The Twilight Ray - again on the far right.

So - technique wise what is needed - well as a landscape photographer - you need to turn your back on that sunset!

Somewhat easier said than done. But you also need calm conditions, a dusty atmosphere, a good view of a distant horizon and no volacanos (have yet to work that one out).

For those wanting more information see here.

I have seen this phenomenon before - but never really understood what I was looking at.

What caught our attention with this was the amazing clouds with the white tops to them reflected in the water - I'm guessing that all it is, is the last of the sun rays catching the tops of the clouds whilst the rest of the clouds are in the Earth Shadow.

So what have I done - a 3 stop neutral density filter to length the exposure and a 1 stop gradutated neutral denisty filter to the horizon - cursing that I did not have a 1/2 stop one... - I have very nearly ended up with the reflection lighter than the sky which is totally wrong - a tripod, mirror lock up and trigger release.

I have cropped the picture very slightly to remove a cloud that was on the very edge of the frame and straightened the horizon - something I just can't seem to sort out when I take the shot. But otherwise nothing else has been done.

This picture was taken in the same location as the last picture, a few minutes before it.

anel, nasokoun, KOMSIS, marius-secan, horias, PeterZ, manyee, Hussain58, Luis52, horia, SunToucher, PaulH, albert, Heaven, irishprophet25, oscarromulus has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To winterpalace: It is just a shadowAramok 2 11-26 08:49
Phenomenawinterpalace 1 11-26 01:42
Phenomenawinterpalace 1 11-26 01:33
To PaulH: tried it but...Aramok 1 01-19 05:27
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2010-01-16 4:40]

Hi Emma,
Splendid organization of the seascape.
Excellent details and colors. An exceptional seascape, congratulations.
Have a wonderful WE,

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2010-01-16 4:53]

Hello Emma,
Amazing picture and science lesson! It's also true that the colors take a very special intensity just in the moment of sunset, if you look in the other direction. I often noticed that, before nature slides slowly in darkness. Very subtle colors and beautiful point of view chosen. A very subtle shot and a most interesting note.
Have a nice weekend
Kind regards

Hello Emma,
through your continuous experimentation, also a appreciable result, splendid glance and photo materialization, even if it transmits a painting sense query of filters, for me a fun of landscapes, this is an excellent work and photo!
keep photographing! TFS

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2010-01-16 6:07]

Hi Emma,
Long exposure ...
Soft pink color and a beautiful landscape composition.
Have a nice weekend,

Hello Emma,
Wonderful landscape with amazing clarity and exceptional colours. Great composition.

Hi Emma,

This is another stunning landscape photo. The colours are gorgeous, the clouds add good interest to the sky, everything is nicely reflected in the lake and the composition is great.
Fabulous capture and TFS


  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2010-01-16 7:11]

Wonderful capture!
Waw...like in a SF! Great details, amazing colors,reflexion is unbelievable!
Warm congratulation!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-01-16 7:19]

Hello Emma,
Wonderful explanation of things I never heard of. Very interesting. Amazing colours and composition. Great clouds and reflections. The WS is also very beautiful.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2010-01-16 8:39]

Hello Emma, Happy New Year!
It is good to know that you are up and about and back in action.: )
This is an amazing scene, not only in its beauty, but also by all that it incorporates and shows so well. Thanks for the fascinating note.
The soft purple-pink, the arrangement of the clouds, the reflections, make for a lovely composition.
TFS. : )

Hello Emma,
Hope life will be good there and there will also be some respite from the weather. Yes, a good science lesson it proved, at least, for me as I am a student of literature.Your extended note is quite clear in putting things through and I noted that the trees to the left hand corner of the photo are still a bit drenched in the western glow which means you were facing away from the west and to be precise, were facing east. The dark beneath the pink is the earth's shadow to the extreme right hand side of the photo. Hope I have not confused you the way you felt that note might sound confusing for us.....lol. Really enjoyed the scene and something new which I was not aware of, being a student of humanities. Thanks for the valuable information....take care...warmest regards/Abid

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2010-01-16 18:04]

Hola Emma.
Just beautiful. Look at those warm colors.
Great Photo Emma. you did a great work here.
have a nice WE.

Hello Emma
magnificent landscape with excellent exposure, composition and POV. Nice vivid colours and cloud formation reflecting on the calm water with very balanced light. Great and interesting notes: thanks.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2010-01-17 8:06]

Hi Emma

A terrific post and lesson on the phenomena we sometimes see but know nothing about! Similar to you, i didn't know all these things before but have seen (and maybe even photographed) them before. By the way, you explained them well in your own words..good examples, too :)
This is a lovely capture, as well, and it's indeed the clouds and their reflection that catches your eye. The longer shutter speed ensured a smooth lake, thus making the atmosphere more tranquil.
Last but not least, i really like the small patch of brighter and colorful trees at about 1/3 from the left, so nicely reflected and lightening up the scene a bit...a lovely bonus!
Overall, top job!

Cheers and TFS

PS: there's something wrong about the links both in your note, but i saw it to in your profile's description. Here it's the Workshops that lead back to the post and there it's the one to your website that leads back to your profile page on TN...don't know if you knew this, but if not, i thought you might want to :)

Hi Emma,
Looks like you have mastered the long exposures very well. It certainly made this shot special. Of course the beautiful cloud shapes and the reflection of the late light did help as well. The colors are truly amazing it you were lucky to have them during this sunset. It doesn't happen that often and when it does it is only visible close to the horizon. The composition with the single rock and the curving shore line is fantastic.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2010-01-19 4:56]
  • [+]

Ooops, almost missed this one! Wow. The lengthy exposure has given the clouds an almost airburshed look here, the colours are vivid but still natural looking and the composition, as always, is first class, although if it were me, i'd have perhaps given that stone more prominance in the FG, but hey, that's just personal choice..:o)
As for this phenomenon, it is something i've heard of but never really understood until i read you notes, so for that i must thank you!
Bet you're glad the white stuff has gone - although there may be more heading our way...

Hello Emma,
A beautiful photo with fascinating colours, excellent note too

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2010-01-20 12:24]

Hi Emma!

I finally have found the time to visit your gallery again. I was absent from TN during the last few weeks. And I didn't want to be in a hurry because pictures of such a high quality like yours need to be contemplated with plenty of time.

It's a pleasure to dive into your landscapes and to free the mind. Your pictures are full of deep expression and awake emotions. In this picture here I particularly like the peaceful and serene atmosphere. Everything is in harmony... and that's the impression I want to take with me for this night.

Many thanks and kind regards


Hi Emma

I am sorry, I do not understand the phenomena. But I know, the resulting image is dream-like.



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