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Fire in the Sky

Fire in the Sky
Photo Information
Copyright: Jane Magen (jaycee) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-11-05
Categories: Sky
Camera: Canon PowerShot S5 IS
Exposure: f/4.1, 1/1000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-11-18 7:20
Viewed: 4626
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This was taken from a ship somewhere in the Caribbean half way between St. Thomas and the Bahamas. I was waiting patiently for the sunset not knowing what to expect since there were clouds low on the water. I was rewarded with this spectacular sight.

The colors of the sky are created because the atmosphere between the sun and the earth consists of many different particles and chemicals. The sky directly surrounding the earth though, mainly consists of nitrogen and oxygen molecules as well as the dust and dubree kicked up by humans and animals on the earth's surface. So, when the light hits these particles it is broken up and the different wavelengths are scattered in different directions. This process is called scattering. So with our atmosphere the sky surrounding the earth would be black and only lit up by the white light of the sun. But instead we have an atmosphere that provides us with the colors we can enjoy.

During the day the sky is seen as blue unless clouds are in the way or the weather is not nice. But why is it that the sky is blue instead of purple or orange? The answer to this question is that the wavelength of blue light is very small and can be broken up about ten times more than red light because red light has almost double the wavelength of blue light. So, blue light is scattered in more directions than the shorter wavelengths when it comes in contact with the nitrogen and oxygen molecules. Therefore, blue is the light that enters our eye. But, using this same scientific reasoning, it would seem logical that we would see a violet sky instead since it has the longest wavelength of all. But, human eyes are more sensitive to blue than violet so therefore we see a blue sky.

At dusk and dawn the colors of the sky change and the first portion of the visible spectrum is what appears to the viewer. During these times of the day the sun is positioned at a different angle to the earth than during the normal daytime. Because of this angle, the longer wavelengths are the ones that reach the eye. The blue and other shorter wavelengths are scattered millions of times and do not reach the viewer. When the sun does not shine directly on a certain portion of the earth there are more gas molecules between the viewer and the sun. Therefore, the normal blue color of he sky is no longer visible because the short wavelengths of blue and green are scattered millions of times and do not reach the viewer. Therefore the longer wavelengths that couldn't be scattered as many times are able to now hit the viewer in a more direct way.

But the question that now arises is that the sunrise and sunset should appear to be the same. In reality, they are actually quite different. The sunset tends to be brighter and contain more vibrant colors than the sunrise. This is due to the fact that during the day animals and humans are usually awake and kicking up dust and dubree that will reflect the light. This refection will make the colors in the sunset appear to be brighter than those in the sunrise.

Lastly, if the sunset or sunrise of a big city is observed, it will be evident that the colors are more varied and tend to appear prettier than a sunset or sunrise that one would see in the country. This fact is because the sky surrounding the cities is more polluted than that around a rural setting. The pollution in the air has many chemicals in it that will break the light up in different ways and scatter it differently than the normal atmosphere would do. Though it is unfortunate that some of the prettiest sunsets can be seen due to pollution, it is a fact.


eqshannon, Heaven, rousettus, boreocypriensis, siggi, CeltickRanger, NinaM, nglen, eng55, Dis. Ac., Silvio2006, kmr13777, marhowie, xTauruSx, techranger, gracious, tuslaw has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

It has a East coast...well not US but E side signature to it...Slightly different more than likely because of latitude..and atmospheric changes...which give it a totally different flavour than what we are used to seeing in more normally higher lats...but them you are from AZ now so maybe you have not noticed..

Hi Jane!

You present us a marvellous sunset picture. The cloudy sky and the effect of the down going sun behind the clouds makes it an outstanding picture. I also appreciate the fact that there is only indirect light without the presenece of the sun. Moreover, your detailed notes are very interesting and instructive.

Kind regards


Hi Jane
wonderful shot for fire on the sky, with splendid coloration. It shown greatly sun rays behind dark clouds. Nicely composed and presented. Thanks for sharing this beauty. best wishes

Hi Big Sis Jane,
A splendid scene and sunset shot from Virgin islands. Details, colours and composition are excellent.
TFS and cheers,


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-11-18 9:17]

Hello Jane,
Very good sunset with fantastic colors, wonderful burning sky, very well done, Best regards Siggi

hello Jane

what an superb and artistic shot of the sky and the clouds
above the calm sea, fine POV and DOF, great shot Jane,
you know that in the clouds, i will let you search,
in the clouds i see a bunny with his long ear,
i see a duck head with his beak, and i see a lion head
even with his body and feet, and a marmot in his pose,
yes yes Jane go search it and you will see them, TFS


  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-11-18 10:17]

You just couldn't pass that one, Jane, what a sunset! I feel the peace in it, the warmth of the last ray on my face and the wind as I look at the sun going down. We can see the layers of the atmosphere, beautiful!


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-11-18 10:21]

Hi jane. This is a beautiful Sunset. You must have enjoyed your well ernt holiday . You have taken this picture with such warm colours. with good detail in the clouds. with very interesting notes. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-11-18 10:27]

Hi Jane,
Beautiful sunset capture.POV,dramatic sky,warm colors and composition are exclelent.
Thanks for posting.

Hi Jane,
What an amazing landscape! Very good composition, beautiful colours and lighting. Great work!

Hi Jane,

what a very nice colored picture from the sunset.
Beautiful pov and colors.
One little point, I think the horizon stands not completely good. (I don't know the right words)


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-11-18 11:06]

Hello Jane,
It certainly is spectacular. The orange colours are very impressive. Evenso the dark clouds. The horizon is a bit oblique. But a beautiful composition.

Hi Jane, fascinating sunset with fantastic warm colors, superb sky, very well done, ciao Silvio

Excellent shot Jaycee!!
Very beautiful effects created by the cloud, great exposure and details in the sky. Excellent use of the rule of thords which is making the picture more impactful.

...and a very interesting and informative note.



  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-11-18 14:31]

Hi Jane,i like a lot this kind of pics (but i publish that on TE ),your is greatfull,a fantastic orange sky perfectly taken,my best compliments for the perfect choice of time of exposure,have a nice day,Luciano

hello jane,
this time its a different kind of shot from you, nice to see this change, the sunrays has painted the sky so beautifully, the colors look beautiful and the composition is pleasing,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-11-18 22:43]

Hi Jane,
Outstanding sunset image with such riot of colours on the sky. So beautiful and you have captured the mood so well here. Excellent DOF, POV and composition.

Hi Jane - Cool :)
Great timing as the sun just dips below that low cloud, illuminating its edges..
Very fitting title for this dramatic sunset.
Thanx for the informative notes on how we get that "Fire in the Sky"..
Seems like the more pollution/dust the better in this case ;}

Hello Jane, superb landscape shot with nice warm colours and composition.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-11-19 13:50]

Woooowww! That is amazing, Jane!
It must have been even more breath-taking being there!
Very good exposure.
Incredible colours.
That really is cloud with a silver lining :-)

Very well done,

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-11-19 14:20]

Hello Jane, something new from you! Very well done! The colors and textures are very nice, well done!


Simply gorgeous Jane. I love the way the backlit clouds are rimmed with brillance. Very beautiful. TFS. :)


Hello Jane,
How are you!
Beautiful sunset well captured from the ship! the ray really strong that penetrate out from the thick clouds real nice! makes the sky like a fire in the sky!
thanks for the sharing

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2008-11-24 19:18]

Incredible sunset Jane,
This must have been an amazing sight to view from your ship.
The colors are gorgeous and the way the clouds appear to be outlined in fire is as you stated, a flaming sky. Thanks for posting such a beautiful image for all to enjoy.

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