Monday, 29 July 2013

Pot of Gold

Rainbows are fascinating and attract people's attention no matter what the age. Rainbows are created when sunlight is bent and reflected by raindrops. This takes place on a day of sunshine and showers so Shetland is an ideal location to encounter one.
                                                                                              One drop of water

The sun needs to come from behind while in front a shower occurs, This bending or refracting of light means it is split into the seven primary colours.

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, with red on the outside and violet on the inside. The brilliance of the colours is down to the size of the raindrops, with the larger drops creating the more spectacular rainbows.
I was fortunate to be at Kergord when I come across this one, using a 800 mm lens I was able to concentrate on a few colours which ended up filling the frame. Using the shape of a tree to reinforce the arch of the rainbow. I try to get out in all weathers, using a waterproof cover fro the camera and lens, on this occasion i had only just started a walk from my car.

Double rainbows are created when the raindrops are reflected twice inside each drop, this is when a slightly fainter second rainbow is seen. In this second rainbow the colours are seen in reverse so that the red in the second faces the Red in the first rainbow.

The rainbow is not located at a specific distance, but comes from any water droplet viewed from a certain angle relative to the sun's rays. A rainbow is not an object, and cannot be physically approached. It is impossible for an observer to see a rainbow from water droplets at any angle other than the customary 42 degrees from the direction of the sun. Even if the observer sees another observer who seems `under' or at the end of a rainbow, the second observer will see a different rainbow - further- off at the same angle as seen by the first observer

The most celebrated rainbow in NORSE mythology is BIFROST, which connects the Earth with `Asgard', home to the Norse gods. Bifrost can only be used by the gods and those who are killed in battle. It is eventually shattered under the weight of war. The notion that a rainbow bridge to heaven is attainable by only the good and virtuous such as warriors and royalty, is a theme often repeated in world myth.

The pot of gold that is said to be found at the end of the rainbow for me is being in Shetland !

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Everyone is drawn to looking at the sky, its lighter than the landscape and therefore our eyes are drawn to the lightest point in our view not the darkest.

The sky is ever changing, certainly in Shetland you could find yourself experiencing four seasons in one day. Over the coming years I hope to capture the Shetland skies in all their glory. With wide open vistas not bound by buildings or trees you can be drawn into natures greatest art form with the the skies ever changing colour and shapes.

In Shetland if you visit in late Spring / Summer you will also experience the Simmer Dim, when it is virtually light for 22.5 hours, except for an hour or so. The photo below, hand held was taken at 1.30 am just as the sun was starting to come up. One draw back is that you never ave enough energy to keep going

                                                                             Returning from a night trip to Mousa

Of course the clouds have names thanks to a thirty year old Quaker Luke Howard who in 1802 devised a classification for clouds. Hopefully with the aid of some books I hope to identify the photos i will be posting.
In addition, I have always been interesting in the night sky, the moon and planets and auroras (not seen as yet) and also astronomy so when the weather allows I hope to be out doing some night photography with a DSLR.
                                                                               Cumulus clouds over Sandwick

One of the main problems of night photography is the weather, well bad weather to be precise overcast and windy conditions make it impossible to photograph. Shetland is windy so shelter would help, especially taking long exposures. A problem in Sheffield is the light pollution, no matter where you go you get a glow, even in the darkest Peak District areas, so Shetland offers better DARK conditions where you can actually see the stars which are so obscured in cities.
My first astrophoto taken back in 1982 in Sheffield when film ruled the day, this is direct from a slide and shows a large amount of light pollution

This wouldn't be complete if I didn't include any other things that might be seen in the sky, this might be photos of aircraft, fireworks, birds and insects in flight all with a Shetland connection.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if I should name something incorrectly, I have only just started learning about clouds