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Old Oct 25, 2003, 11:08 AM   #13
Lin Evans
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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I take it the orange/gold over the mountains is the orange rising sun hitting the temporary wind driven clouds that form over mountains. It is odd the sun would be orange enough to give so warm an effect yet the sky be so blue and the scene so cool. Beautiful things happen in the mountains. I wonder if that effect is why they call them the Maroon Bells.
Yes, the "gold" tip is indeed the rising sun reflecting the peaks which are "sprinkled" with snow. I really don't think there were any clouds at that time of the morning - very early and just a few minutes after the sun broke the horizon.

If you go out before sunup and observe the action of the sun and atmosphere in the mountains, you will witness some very strange phenomenon. At first, if there are clouds and before the sun breaks the horizon, you will see bright red/orange reflections which change by the second in intensity. Then, for a period of several minutes there will be what appears to be no reflection of any consequence and the entire sky will be illuminated fairly evenly. This is followed by another period of red/orange/yellow breaking low on the horizon and followed again by the reflections of strong color in any atmospheric clouds. Shortly afterward, the sun itself is seen as it apparently rises.

Each of these "periods" of time present interesting and continually changing scenes which make for beautiful photographic opportunities. Depending on atmospheric and wind conditions, one can get amazing images.

Below is an example of what the camera sees with a 30 second exposure while it is still completely dark. Other than starlight and very little reflected moonlight, it was pitch black when this image was taken, yet you see a linear gradation in the sky complete with the blue hues we see in daylight. Both the whites and greens of the vegitation are easily seen as well. To what extent this is influenced by reflected infrared, etc., is unknown to me but since the moonlight is actually reflected sunlight the full visible spectrum appears to be present.

Best regards,

Lin

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