sunset "green flash" photography - who, where?

Discussion in 'Nature' started by bacsa, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. Hi. Has anybody here ever photographed the green flash of the Sun?
    Have you tried? Or, do you know a (web)place where I can find an

    Cheers, and have a good light.
  2. Yes. I've seen it, oh a dozen times; mostly because when I was younger I looked for it.

    Amateur astronomers like looking for the Flash a lot, and you can find various shots in Sky and Telescope; Dennis DiCicco comes to mind.

    I never found it made for much of an interesting slide although fun to watch.

    The best way to do it is to find a large piece of water with a western view (read: ocean) which is calm, and also a steady and clear air mass. No clouds on horizon. The flash will last about 1/2 to 2 seconds. Most of the green will come from the water reflection. The flash is reasonably bright and you can probably capture on slow film with a moderate (say, f/8) aperture. At least 200 mm lens, IMO, but some people have done a nice job with a wide angle.
  3. I had my video camera running and focused on the sunset while several people saw the green flash and commented on it.

    Nothing, on the video. Nada.

    From that I concluded that the green flash was an optical illusion simular to the Black and white U.S. flags that you stare at and then when you close your eyes you see Red, white and blue.
  4. "Scientific American" had an article on the "Green Flash" many years ago. As I remember, the green was caused by refraction of the air near the cool ocean surface. A rough analogy to desert mirages, but with dispersion. The higher the observer, the more likely the appearance of the flash.
  5. I googled "green flash" and got quite a few hits. The first one is shown below. They also link to pictures of the phenomenon. I witnessed the green flash on Kaua'i under circumstances listed above. Unfortunately, I'd never heard of it and was standing there with my camera, all unprepared. Sigh.

  6. Never saw it while in the Navy, it is one of those things that needs pretty nearly perfect conditions. But do know people who have seen it.
  7. Many photos of the Green Flash exist - One was on the cover of Scientific American a number of years ago - try the image search in google for "Green Flash"

    Carroll Hughes
  8. It's quite the tourist thing to do along the waterfront at Key West, Florida. Everyone goes down to the harbor for a great street show at sunset, and they look for the green flash as the sun goes down. I figured that the flash was just a reflection off the olive in my glass.
  9. I saw it clearly last summer, and managed to grab a camera and fire off four frames while it lasted (a lot longer at 69 degrees north, which is where I was). The green is completely swamped by the geneal sunset red, but is clearly visible with some filtering (sandwiching the slide with a blue filter). If the fliter had been on the camera, I might have gotten a convincing photo.
  10. Thanks, guys. I do know what the green flash is, the one that comes from the Sun, and not from olives in your glass:eek:)). I did find some pics with google myself. I was more curious about how to photograph it... Have a good light.

Share This Page