Brilliant Sun Pillar Over Jenison, Michigan

May 01, 2012

Brilliant Sun Pillar Over Jenison Michigan
Photographer: Kevin Povenz; Kevin's Flickr Web site
Summary Author: Andrew McFarlane; Jim Foster

May 2012 Viewer's Choice

The photo above showing a breathtaking Sun pillar was captured at sunset near Jenison, Michigan on April 10, 2012. Sun pillars result from the reflection of sunlight off the bottom surfaces (or less frequently, the top surfaces) of plate-shaped ice crystals composing cirrus clouds. These crystals must be similarly oriented and slightly tipped with respect to the viewer in order for a pillar to be observed. The crimson shaft piercing the purple sky made this sunset unforgettable.

Photo details: Canon T1i camera; Sigma 18 - 200mm lens; Exposure - 0.125 sec. (1/8) exposure; f/9 aperture; 63mm focal length; 100 ISO; Exposure Bias - -1 EV; Flash - did not fire; Metering Mode - Multi-segment; Exposure Mode – Auto; White Balance – Manual; Cokin filter - Graduated Neutral Density; Tripod - Vanguard Altra Pro 263AT; Head - SLIK Pistol Grip AF2100; Software - Adobe Photoshop elements 9.0.