Colour Shift Near Sunset

As the sun nears the horizon a greater proportion of the local illumination comes from the sky above. This can be quite pronounced on cloudy evenings, especially with white snow on the ground. The eye adjusts to this gradual change and most digital cameras will be set to automatic white balance which also adjusts to this to some extent. However the compensation isn't perfect as shown in the images below, taken with the sun 8 degrees above the horizon and 3 degrees above the horizon on a cloudy evening.

Leaving the camera on a daylight white balance setting can show just how much bluer the surroundings really are at sunset. This is helpful with a time lapse because relying on automatic settings can give unpredictable shifts in colour. In the first image the sun was 7 degrees above the horizon and for the last image it was on the horizon.

Wiltshire, England

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