The weather conditions around the world have included one extreme after another. Minnesota weather has been no different than the rest of the world. The temperatures have been either very unseasonably warm or very, very cold. During the month of December 2022, we went four days straight without the windchill temperatures getting over zero degrees Fahrenheit. Although it is tough to go outside when the temperatures are this cold, it can be worth it for a photographer. One of my favorite cold temperature occurrences is the steam that comes off the open water. It is a beautiful way to photograph wildlife in the water.
Winter landscapes can be very black and white, which is why I always look for some color which I love to find in sun dogs. Although sun dogs can occur any time of the year, they are much more common on very cold days. Sun dogs are generally caused by the refraction and scattering of light from ice crystals either in cirrus clouds or drifting in freezing, moist air. The crystals act as prisms, bending the light rays passing through them. Sun dogs can often (but not always) be seen on both the left and right of the sun.
The morning I took this photo, the wind chill temperatures were below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Initially, as the sun rose, only one side of the sun dogs was visible. Later in the morning, on both sides of the sun dogs could be seen over the snow-covered landscape.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor