I have long been interested in the weather and how it effects so much of what we shoot. So much so I am doing research on and will be posting a blog post soon on the effects of weather on photography. A former co-worker of mine, not knowing I have been pondering this theme for a while, recently sent me an article posted on weather.com on the science behind fall and winter sunsets. So, due to the season we are presently in I thought I would pass the article on. Hope you enjoy it:
As days grow shorter, the skies at sunset glow with the most spectacular hues, blooming with pinks, reds and oranges. Why are autumn and winter sunsets more vivid than any other time of the year?
The Science Behind Sunsets
First, a lesson in the colors of the rainbow: Blue light has a short wavelength, so it gets scattered easiest by air molecules, such as nitrogen and oxygen. Longer wavelength lights — reds and oranges — are not scattered as much by air molecules.
During sunrise and sunset, light from the sun must pass through much more of our atmosphere before reaching our eyes, so it comes into contact with even more molecules in the air. Much of the blue light gets scattered away, making the reds and oranges more pronounced.
During this time of year, weather patterns allow for dry, clean Canadian air to sweep across country, and more colors of the spectrum make it through to our eyes without getting scattered by particles in the air, producing brilliant sunsets and sunrises that can look red, orange, yellow or even pink.