Collin J Örthner – Photographer

November 3, 2013


Filed under: Agriculture, Black & White, Hi Res, Nature, Sigma DP2 Merrill, Sigma DP2M, snow, Trees, Winter — collin j örthner @ 9:11 pm

With our record setting snowfall today, I wasn’t about to head very far from home. I did go a few kilometres south of town, the roads were in very bad shape, but I did manage a couple of images. The fine detail of these trees along the horizon reminded me of an etching. I also found it quite unique that the snow on the ground was brighter than the cloudy sky. I will have to do some research on the phenomena to understand how it works.  Update, I found the answer! Just not sure I understand it:

 “The sky at the horizon is darker than that at the zenith owing to the law of darkening. This gradient over the hemisphere above, however, is so shallow that this darkening is generally not noticeable. Because the illumination of the snow requires integrating over the hemisphere, the snow’s luminance will typically be greater than that of the sky at the horizon. Hering-type Mach bands will cause further brightness enhancement, such that under ideal conditions the brightness of snow can be greater than that of the zenith sky.”  

J. J. Koenderink
Utrecht Biophysics Research Institute, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
A. Richards
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, Massachusetts


[Sigma DP2 Merrill]






  1. Nice shot, and nice little investigation into the ‘why is the snow more white?’ … and then I saw the name Koenderink. Well, when I was younger, back in the 80’s, I studied Physics at the University Of Utrecht, and there I did some work for that professor. Small world:)

    Comment by Max — April 10, 2016 @ 3:50 pm

    • Btw, I arrived at your blog because I googled for Sigma DP2 Merrill:)

      Comment by Max — April 10, 2016 @ 3:51 pm

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