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Earth Shadow or Antitwilight Arch (36)
Aramok Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)
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.

Altered Image #1

Aramok Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)
Edited by:Aramok Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)

Just an extra picture to show the earth shadow more clearly.