Recipe for a Dramatic Sunrise or Sunset

Are the sunrises and sunsets in your part of the world ho-hum?
If they are, then you could follow this recipe to make them spectacular!
– start with clean air, preferably in the fall or winter season. (You might have to travel somewhere to find these conditions.)
– marvel at the blue of the daytime sky, which is caused by the selective scattering of sunlight by air molecules. This scattering favours the shorter wavelengths of violet to blue.
– consider the much longer path through the atmosphere that sunlight has to travel in the morning and evening. It scatters more violet and blue, which creates the opportunity for reds and oranges to reach our eyes.
– finally, add some clouds to catch the red-orange rays and reflect this light to the ground.

It wasn’t until I investigated the science of the colour of sunrises that I realized that not everyone gets to see such a thing regularly! Now I know how fortunate I am to live in two parts of the world where this frequently occurs.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Rise/Set

For a good explanation of scattering, see The Colors of Sunset and Twilight.

Question of the day – do you have dramatic sunrises and sunsets where you live? If so, how much thousands of photos have you taken of them?

On a Scale of Carousel to Roller Coaster, How Scary is this?

HDR filter Topaz Studio
Winged Creature

Sunrise this morning. It was quite spectacular and changing rapidly. I quickly took a picture, then retreated back into the warmth of my house. When I uploaded the photo and enhanced it with a light touch of HDR in Topaz Studio, I realized that I had captured something much more sinister than a typical Alberta sunrise.

It was a winged creature, with a skull like head and sunken eye sockets. It was covered with woolly dreads. It rode on bolts of fire…

Alberta orange yellow
Poodle

Without HDR, it looked more like a poodle, I suppose…

Do you see a safe ‘carousel’ sky, or a scary ‘roller coaster’ sky?

‘On a scale of’ usually has a range of one to ten – but here are some other ‘Scales’ to think about:
On a scale of Voldemort to Pinocchio, how Nosy are you?
On a scale of Mother Teresa to Adolf Hitler, how evil is your President?
On a scale of Under the Porch Mat to Osama Bin Laden how good was my hiding spot?
On a scale of Pennies to a Pool Filled With $1000 Bills, how much does this house cost?
On a scale of Sitting on a Stuffed Toy to Stepping on a LEGO, how much pain are you in?
On a scale of Qatar to Greece, how broke are we?
On a scale of Winter in Florida to Winter in Siberia how bad is your idea?

Can you think of some other non-traditional scales?

This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Scale.

Photographs of a Half Moon and Sunrises

moon Mar 31 2016
The photo challenge this week is Half-Light. At sunrise this morning, the moon appeared to be Half too!

The sun does not abandon the moon to darkness.
― Brian A. McBride, Dominion –

sunrise moon Arizona

Same time, same sunrise, same moon (that tiny white dot near the top right of the photo.

The sky is that beautiful old parchment in which the sun and the moon keep their diary.
– Alfred Kreymborg –

sunrise clouds Arizona

In Alberta, these clouds would probably mean rain. Here in Arizona, at this time of the year, dark clouds are just dark clouds.

The latest authority among men of science says that little is known of the causes which balance the clouds in the air. They are formed of water, and water, however minutely divided or blown into bubbles, is always heavier than the air. And yet these flying fountains of all the rivers of earth, these armed and thundering legions of the storm, that beat down the forests with hail and bury the mountains in snow, and flood the plains with water, go floating over us at vast heights with all their mighty magazines when all our philosophy would require them to sink to the earth.
– Daniel March, “The Balancings of the Clouds,” Our Father’s House, or the Unwritten Word, 1869 –

sunrise Arizona

Without clouds, sunrises aren’t nearly so dramatic!

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.
– G.K. Chesterton –

What common phrases do you think of when you hear the word ‘Half’?

This weeks WordPress Photo Challenge is Half-Light.

Cactus and Clouds – Curves

Clouds are not as common in Arizona as they are in Alberta. One day, however I saw these ‘comma’ clouds, with a trio of Saguaro cactus stretching up as if to catch the wisps!

These clouds reminded me of punctuation. Don’t they look like big apostrophes or commas except they curve the wrong way?  I think they are Cirrus uncinus clouds, but I’m not sure.

The cactus with the curved arms are Saguaro cacti.

To see how other photographers interpreted this topic: Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves