Venetian Blind Pillar

February 05, 2011


Photographer: Rob Bruner
Summary Author: Rob Bruner; Dave Lynch

A pillar occurs as the Sun, or some other source of light, is reflected from nearly horizontal surfaces. Ice crystal pillars are the most common, and happen when sunlight is reflected from horizontally oriented ice crystals in cirrus clouds. The vertical extend is determined by slight departures from perfect horizontal alignment of the crystals. In the case of the venetian blinds, the slight curvature of the each blind is analogous to the slightly misaligned ice crystals. Other objects can also reflect the image of the light source and continue the path, as observed here. The Sun is first reflected off the glass windows of a building located along the eastern bank of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Virginia. You can see a small bit of a glitter path reflected in the river just below the building. The pillar is then continued across the open mini blinds in a window of the Naval Hospital, located on the west bank of the river, in Portsmouth, Virginia. Always use caution when looking toward the Sun or even the reflected Sun. 

Photo details: Camera Maker: Motorola; Camera Model: DROID2 GLOBAL; Focal Length: 4.0mm (35mm equivalent: 30mm); Focus Distance: 0m; Aperture: f/2.8; Exposure Time: 0.0083 s (1/120); ISO equiv: 186; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Center Weight; Exposure: program (Auto); White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB.