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My first Sundog (or parhelia)

My first Sundog (or parhelia)
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: 2006-07-21
Categories: Seascape, Ocean, Sky
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II USM, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/40 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Cape Wrath, Outer & Inner Hebridies
Theme(s): My Sunsets and Sunrises [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-08-01 12:10
Viewed: 6280
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I'm now back from my holidays, soon to create a travelogue, but in the meantime here is a picture I took the night we arrived at Bhaltos (Valtos) on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebridies, off the North West coast of Scotland.

This was taken from my tent (well I was meant to be putting it up, but took photos instead!) at 9:40pm. At home it would be dark by then, much further north it was still light for nearly another 1.5-2 hours.

But this picture is about the sunset and the Sundog or Parhelia which I witnessed for the first time in my life. It is the most common form of ice halos which is exactly what it is, light reflected through the ice in the clouds, but ice is a very specific format, at a certain angle etc...

The picture was taken handheld, no filters, just as it was. I have cropped the picture resized and sharpened, but that it is. That night it was an amazing sunset.


Halos appear in our skies far more often than do rainbows. They can be seen on average twice a week in Europe and parts of the United States. The 22░ radius circular halo and sundogs (parhelia) are the most frequent.

Sundogs are formed when light passes through crystal side faces inclined at 60░ to each other. The rays, like those of the 22░ halo, are deviated by up to 50░ but those near to the minimum deviation condition of near** to 22░ are the most numerous and they form the very bright sundog inner edges. Sundogs are often brightly coloured because the crystals refract each colour by a different amount.

I have found a stunning website describing ice halos and the like and so will not try to give a better description, so click here for the site - it is really informative and is where the information came from.

Please enjoy and feel free to comment.

jmp, marhowie, Signal-Womb, SunToucher, pablominto, SkyF has marked this note useful
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To pablominto: thanksAramok 1 08-02 03:32
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-08-01 13:14]

Hi Emma,
Here again! Calm, beautiful beach. I like the panoramic composition and the color of everything. Great shot!
Best regard, JosÚ M.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-08-01 13:38]

Splendid shot, Emma....simply SPLENDID!
Perfect POV, exposure, lights, colors, composition...i love them all.
A really, really great image.
Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • Karin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 418 W: 5 N: 268] (2089)
  • [2006-08-01 16:29]

Hi Emma,
Landscape is great, not only for the halo, but for the milky water contrasting with the dark hills and the good composition. I also like the sideway sunrays that lits the grass.
Very well done and TFS

Wonderful picture, excellent composition and very good colours, you caught this phenomenon in a very good picture.

Hello Emma, excellent capture of this unusual phenomena, never heard or seen this before. Composition is spot-on as is exposure and colour saturation. Very fine work, well done.

Hi Emma,
I saw you photo yesterday, but had a huge headache. Too much work and not enough sleep. Great capture of the sundog. It is almost as if there are two light sources in the sky. The colors are beuatiful and so is the composition. I really like what you did with the f/g it creates more depth.

Hi Emma,
This is a wonderful sunset over the Atlantics!
The clouds in the horizon add a lot to the beauty, in fact I find those sunsets best when the sun is not visible...
Nicely composed landscape in a pleasant format and of course you had a great time up there!
Pablo -

Hello Emma,
Lovely picture! It has a lot of tranquillity and I like that. Beautiful delicate colours and a very well balanced composition.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-08-02 15:27]

Hello Emma
Excellent perspective and foreground texture for this beautiful sunset. Very well composed.

I like the use of the panorama here, Emma. Great soft Scottish details. Soft and subtle colors, too. I think you've done a good job of bringing out the details of the sundog while retaining the details in the rest of the shot.

Out here we cal those halos "sundogs". I love thelight flowing across the FG grasses and flowers.

Hello Emma,
Really like this perspective, panoramic picture. Calm and quiet sea. Of course the sundog phonomenon was clearly captured. Well done.

  • Great 
  • TBW Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 94 W: 28 N: 200] (846)
  • [2006-08-09 16:41]

Great shot!
I love the scenery from your tent!
There is something about the image I really enjoy. The composition is great, the light is beautiful and the sharpness is great even at distance.
Very well done!


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