Frost Sparkles

December 22, 2012

Refracting icecristals in grass-FotoJanKoeman-2012-10-15-s (4)

Photographer: Jan Koeman; Jan's Web site
Summary Authors: Jan Koeman; Jim Foster

The photo above shows frost crystals gleaming like the bulbs on a Christmas tree in the early morning sunlight. It was taken in the Lofoten Islands of Norway on October 15, 2012. I used a long 300 mm lens with full aperture to snap the picture. These were the first such crystals of the autumn. The brightly colored spheres are referred to as sparkles. Like halos, they tend to be found roughly 22 degrees from the Sun. It's easier to notice the sparkle colors if you purposely de-focus your vision or if you stand further away. This allows only a fraction of the dispersed sunlight to enter your eyes. If you stand too close, the crystals will appear devoid of color. Photo taken on October 15, 2012.

Photo details: Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION; Camera Model: NIKON D300; Focal Length: 300.0mm (35mm equivalent: 450mm); Aperture: f/5.6; Exposure Time: 0.0008 s (1/1250); ISO equiv: 200; Exposure Bias: -1.33 EV; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: aperture priority (semi-auto); White Balance: Auto; Light Source: Unknown; Flash Fired: No; Orientation: Normal; Color Space: opRGB; Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.0 Windows.