a green flash?

This sunset looks very much like the one I posted last night (probably because it was taken that same night), except the solitary person has moved out of sight. And I moved in order to position the sun behind the sea stack. There’s also one other minor detail that I hadn’t noticed until I started to sort through all the (many) snaps I shot as the sun was going down….

 I’ve been hearing about this mythical “green flash” that is supposed to occur at sunset…. it’s a fascinating optical phenomenon that’s explained quite nicely HERE.

I expected this green flash to occur just above the sun as it dipped below the horizon, but there’s a definite spot of green near the midpoint of the flat stretch to the left of the sun. (If you want a closer look, click once to enlarge this shot, then click on the green spot again for a better close up.)

I can’t be sure if this qualifies as a Green Flash….  it’s a bit atypical, but it’s definitely there. It’s certainly gone in this next shot taken a mere 00:18 seconds later.


47 thoughts on “a green flash?

  1. Nice shot, but you are right. A green flash occurs at the tip of the setting Sun, not off to the lower right. It looks like you have a lens flare that happened to come out greenish. A lens flare is caused by internal reflections in your camera lens (I don’t know what lens you are using, but almost every camera lens has multiple elements).

    I have photographed the green flash (and even an occasional rare blue/purple flash) many times. My blog at http://halfastro.wordpress.com has many of the photos. Just type “green flash” into the search box.

    Keep photographing sunset and practice…you will get one!


    • Sadly I did a bit of research and learned that it wasn’t a real green flash (which is extremely difficult to catch in photos). It’s a bit of an aberration caused by the lens of the camera (shooting into the sun like that). But it taught me quite a bit about the phenomenon. Possibly this is too much info, but if you’re interested, there’s a good site that explains it: http://mintaka.sdsu.edu/GF/observing/artifacts.html


    • I’ve heard about the green flash, but it’s a rare person who catches it because it only lasts a bare few seconds. Apparently disperser was correct and I didn’t actually catch the phenomenon… I did get an answer to my query with a link that explains what actually happened (mostly to do with the optics in digital cameras). See disperser’s comment where I provided a link (if you’re interested in this technical stuff.)


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