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Many Frozen Suns

Many Frozen Suns
Photo Information
Copyright: Bob Harrison (BobH) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 40 W: 8 N: 192] (650)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-12-13
Camera: Canon PowerShot S5 IS
Exposure: f/8, 1/800 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Frozen nature, Pictured Symbolic Qualities of Sun, Ice in any shape!, Reflections [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-12-15 4:45
Viewed: 3701
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Reflection or refraction?

This image is from the aftermath of the same ice storm as in my previous post, but shot a few km away, the next day after the sky had cleared. The sun seemed to be everywhere and the ice encased landscape was stunningly bright.

I had assumed that the intense light was mostly reflected, but this image suggests otherwise. This one stalk of grass, wrapped in an irregular cylinder of ice, acts as a lens to bend the light to the camera at several different points.

Unlike my previous post of bizarre tiny ridges covering the ice, the surface here is optically smooth. The difference from the previous day may be from the ice formation process or it may be from melting that occurred afterward- I'm not sure which. Conditions here were -8C and windy, so all the ice visible was hard and dry and any melting would have occurred the previous day.

In any case, the appearance of images of the sun at the lower edge of the grass clearly show that refraction is dominant here. The sun is just out of view in the upper right and this one stalk contributes only a few small reflections from its upper edge. Of course, since these are from a convex surface, they are much smaller than the refracted images.

So does this one image show that for this field full of rough cylindrical lenses, refraction accounts better than reflection for the intensity of the light here? Not what I would have thought before, but I think so now.

tech note- cropping, rotation, and slight increase in contrast


Note added 12-17-08

Workshop added after original post is the uncropped original image, which includes the full direct view of the sun. This shows the sun angle for the refracted/reflected sun images.

valy67, anel, Miss_Piggy, gondox, sayat, matatur, Dillinger, eqshannon, tuslaw has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To papajoehermit: replicationBobH 1 04-29 05:43
To joey: POVBobH 1 12-17 17:33
To tuslaw: thanksBobH 1 12-17 10:56
To matatur: reflection/refractionBobH 2 12-17 09:14
To eqshannon: ice is niceBobH 1 12-15 19:19
To Dillinger: uniquenessBobH 1 12-15 16:25
To Heaven: lightplayBobH 1 12-15 15:36
To Miss_Piggy: natural bling blingBobH 1 12-15 15:34
To anel: blue sky and moreBobH 1 12-15 15:33
To valy67: how light plays on iceBobH 1 12-15 15:32
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Bob !
Ilove pictures with ice or snow, and this one looks great, with all these sparklesof light - always beautiful how light plays on the ice. I lik the composition, with the strand of grass in a diagonal. Very well done !

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-12-15 5:05]
  • [+]

Hello Bob,
How beautiful wintertime can be. Amazing these reflections and refractions of light, heavenly!
I also like your composition with the smooth surface and the blue sky in the back, and these wonderful ice-shapes in the front.
Really well seen and done

Hallo Bob
An absolute delightful view. The colours captured are great. The glitter of light shining through the grass reminds me of stars in the sky at night time. Amazing end result. It must have been wonderful seeing this scene in real life. Stunning display of silver and glass all in one. Really beautiful. Who needs real bling bling and shine, if you can have natures bling bling and devine?
Thanks for sharing.
Best regards

Hi Bob

Congratulations for this outstanding picture! master winter creates wonderfulatmospheres and art works, but we also have to see them. You have taken full advantage of this lightplay in the ice and the natural plastic art you present us is marvellous!

Kind regards


Hi Bob!

Sure I checked this image too :)
It looks amazing with all those shiny spots and in this good composition! Wonderful take, TFS!

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • sayat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 280 W: 0 N: 258] (1457)
  • [2008-12-15 7:46]

Nice shot with a striking light effect. Thanks for sharing.

Well, regarding the relative darkness of the unclouded sky, the sun was nowhere relatively "behind" the icy structure, so I differ with you my friend, those flashpoints were most probably reflections, not refractions, the icy substrate in the immediate FG and BG also reflect a bright sun towards the camera, there is no possible refraction angle there, at least that is how I see and interpret this fine scene!

Bob, This is quite a unique image! I don't think I have ever seen a photo that has so many points of refraction or reflection of the sun (not counting the reflected light on water surfaces). What I like most in this photo is the way the blue color of the sky is captured throughout the ice - like a lens inverting the image. I've seen this in water droplets before, but never so clearly in ice!

Thanks for your detailed note, exploring the technical aspects of this phenomenon.


Refraction....I love to play with sun....and ice is what I use..many times in sun dogs as well..Very nice image bob.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2008-12-15 17:16]
  • [+]

Wonderful image Bob,
I may not understand everything about the refracted or reflected light issue, but I think I do know a great photo when I see one, and this one is really neat!! TFS.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-12-17 14:21]
  • [+]

What an amazing shot, Bob!
It's so original!
Very good POV.
Great composition.
Amazing light :-)

Very well done,

So as not to replicate what others have said about this photograph... It makes me happy to see images such as this. Great work.

JoeGoff, Louisville, KY

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