Iridescent Mist

Iridescent mist

Iridescence can be observed in a variety of places other than clouds. Here the sunlight on a cold damp morning has started to warm the shed roof, causing wisps of mist to rise from it. In very calm conditions coloured bands can sometimes be seen following the shapes of the wisps. The slightest breath of wind can spoil the effect. (This curl of mist was about 10 centimetres high)

Iridescent mist

Look through the wisps generally towards, but at a safe distance from the sun. Like many of these things the effect is much easier to see than it is to photograph. Lens reflections need to be avoided as they can easily introduce spurious colours. A darker background would also have been helpful here.

Iridescent mist

On the left of this image the mist is very thin with distinct colours while to the right the thicker mist just appears white. Larger droplets also catch the light to give tiny white spots, these are easily visible to the eye and give the mist a grainy appearance.

Never look directly at the sun !   Shield the sun and use proper eye protection against the glare.

Canon EOS 20D   9th December 2005
Wiltshire, England

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