Sunset in a Block of Ice

March 17, 2016

Sunset in a block of ice 021816 2 72 (1)

Photographer: John Stetson
Summary Author: John Stetson

Along with having interesting and life-sustaining qualities, ice can pipe light like fiber optic tubes. It's the crystalline structure of the ice that makes this possible.

When one of my friends saw this picture, taken at Sebago Lake, Maine, he said he thought the light in the ice was an example of specular highlights. The problem with that idea is that spectral highlights are reflected light. I was photographing the blocks of ice facing almost directly west — toward the setting Sun. The light at sunset was traveling through the ice. Can ice crystals pipe light? Yes. For example, this effect gives us sundogs when ice crystals are in the air as well as other familiar optical phenomena. Photo taken on February 18, 2016.
Photo Details: Camera Model: NIKON D300; Lens: 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8; Focal Length: 200.0mm (35mm equivalent: 300mm); Aperture: ƒ/11.0; Exposure Time: 0.0025 s (1/400); ISO equiv: 800; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh.