Sundogs of Yellowstone

kdogkdog artistically challengedSan Jose, CAPosts: 11,122Administrators moderator

Sundogs are vertical lights in the sky caused by the refraction of sunlight by ice crystals in the atmosphere. I was treated to this phenomenon one very cold day (-26F) in Yellowstone NP last month.

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Thanks for looking!
Joel

Comments

  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am Posts: 7,085Registered Users Major grins

    Oh how lucky to see it all again!!

    First 2 are gorgeous......I think if mine....I would take the blue out completely and focus on winter white........cheers!

    It does give it surreal feeling.....but pure whites would be better.....JMO.

  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,122Administrators moderator

    Thanks, my friend. These are taken at dawn and were naturally blue since the snow reflects the blue sky and the sun isn't high enough to turn the snow white. Yes, they can be corrected white, but then you lose the blue sky and I'm not about to selectively color the photos. I actually did some global corrections on some of these including the first one. You might be surprised that all that snow in the foreground meadow in the last shot has almost no blue tint at all where the sun is hitting.

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,148Super Moderators moderator
    edited February 1, 2018

    Love these sundog scenes, Joel. I saw a couple last week in Yellowstone, but they were not nearly as intense as yours, even with way heavy editing. Probably because we were seeing temps in the single digit to above freezing during our days in Yellowstone. I love your images, but I didn't miss your colder thermal temperatures.

    The color of snow is always a fun discussion - I think snow is the color the artist wants it, like it or not. I tend to agree with Taz, that snow is usually white in mid day Sun, but before sunrise, like Joel says, snow can be really really blue. I found that in my images from last week as well.

    I accept your color temps Joel, but the saturation seems a bit stronger than I might have chosen. There is a certain softness about snow scenes too, isn't there?

    I like your first frame the best because it captures the whole ring and the darker center of the circle of the sundog. Cool!!

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,122Administrators moderator

    @pathfinder said:
    Love these sundog scenes, Joel. I saw a couple last week in Yellowstone, but they were not nearly as intense as yours, even with way heavy editing. Probably because we were seeing temps in the single digit to above freezing during our days in Yellowstone. I love your images, but I didn't miss your colder thermal temperatures.

    The color of snow is always a fun discussion - I think snow is the color the artist wants it, like it or not. I tend to agree with Taz, that snow is usually white in mid day Sun, but before sunrise, like Joel says, snow can be really really blue. I found that in my images from last week as well.

    I accept your color temps Joel, but the saturation seems a bit stronger than I might have chosen. There is a certain softness about snow scenes too, isn't there?

    I like your first frame the best because it captures the whole ring and the darker center of the circle of the sundog. Cool!!

    Thanks, Jim! They do appear to be a bit oversaturated. I actually didn't add any saturation, but most or all of those are HDRs which probably increased saturation somewhat. But it does make the prism effect of the 'dogs pop.

    These were a new experience for me. I really had no idea what they were when I first saw them. I thought they were rainbows.

    I love shooting in the snow. I only wish there was more snow when I was there as it was pretty thin as you can see from my pics. It looks like you guys had a lot more snow for your trip. Lucky you!

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,148Super Moderators moderator

    Sundogs ( parhelia) are interesting. I have seen them on summer days, occasionally, in upper Michigan on the way to Sault Ste Marie with only modest clouds in the sky. I was puzzled the first time I saw them as well. although I had read about them in M G J Minnaert's "Light and Color in the Outdoors" which I learned about here on dgrin many years ago.

    I, too, find them hard to photograph in a way that really resembles what I see with my naked eye too. Polarizers seem to help at times but I think you are correct they really do require some variation of HDR techniques. Most of my efforts have failed otherwise.

    We may have had more snow, not sure, but the streets and grounds in Gardiner were completely dry. There was snow above Mammoth.. We did get to see a bison stampede in Mammoth. I had never seen bison actually run in winter before and I have been there in winter at least 4 or 5 times - frequently on snow mobiles years ago.

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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