More on the Interplay of Sunlight and Water

January 04, 2012

JohnaglitterandglintPA300014 (3)

: John Adam; John's Web Site
Summary Author: John Adam

The interplay and light on water is an endless source of fascination. Take a source of light (usually the Sun), add water and a little wind or in this case a tossed pebble, and viola! A unique, evolving pattern of light is formed illustrating, as always, the laws of physics.

On an irregularly wave-rippled surface, a more commonly seen glitter path would have been present. In this picture however, the laws of optics, not in any way perturbed by the imposed circular symmetry of the expanding waves, still have their way. Only those portions of the water surface that have the appropriate slope and orientation will reflect light into the observer's eyes. These are seen as glints. The star-like glints are optical artifacts of the camera, creating a pleasing symbiosis of nature and technology. Photo taken in early November 2011 at Lake Wylie, North Carolina.

Photo details: Camera Maker: OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.; Camera Model: SP570UZ; Focal Length: 8.9mm; Aperture: f/5.6; Exposure Time: 0.0010 s (1/1000); ISO equiv: 64; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: Creative Program (based towards depth of field); White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB.