In Pursuit of a Green Flicker

Until a few weeks ago, I’ve never made a serious attempt to look for a green flash on the setting sun. My horizons are treed and mountainous. And when I have had access to an ocean or flat desert horizon, there have either been clouds or other things to do.

While on a week-long cruise in the Carribbean last month, one evening offered a beautiful sunset where the distant clouds didn’t quite conceal the horizon. I took the opportunity to shoot some photos over the railing to see if several miles of thick, refracting air would throw a green sunbeam at me. It was a beautiful sight, but I didn’t see a lick of green. At least that’s what I thought. After checking the images when we got home, I noticed my final image had an interestingly tinted sliver of sunlight in it. That last little gasp of greenish light might be a visual contrast effect with the orange sky, but it does measure ever-so-slightly greenish in Photoshop. (I didn’t apply any unsharp masking to the photo–but random color noise might play into it.)

I know, it’s pretty sad…

Here is an animated gif image (470K): Animated Sunset.

2 Replies to “In Pursuit of a Green Flicker”

  1. Looks a mite greenish to me.
    While driving home from work I have a clear view of the Sun setting into the Pacific Ocean. I have stopped several times to watch the final moments. All that this has netted me is one slight green flash.

  2. That sounds like a great daily vantage, Andrew. As many opportunities as that will eventually give you, I hope you get a healthy green flash soon.

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