Sun pillar sunset

Picture: Sun Pillar at sunset over green hills in Spring, Mount Diablo State Park, California

Picture: Sun Pillar at sunset over green hills in Spring, Mount Diablo State Park, California

Happy Easter.

I happened to be shooting in the hills around Mount Diablo this last Thursday when a magnificent sun pillar appeared in the sky. Sun Pillars are caused when ice crystals in the atmosphere are aligned horizontally, and reflect light in a vertical column.

It’s easy to image how hundreds and thousands of years ago, sun pillars, like rainbows, solar halos, and other atmospheric phenomenon would be seen as signs from God, or the Gods depending on time, place, and religion or mythos. But there is no denying that seeing one of these could bring a sense of awe or mystery to a viewer. The one thought that came to me while watching Charleton Heston’s “The Ten Commandments” was when Pharaoh was chasing the Israelites through the desert, and there appears a column of flame in the sky. It’s easy to think that what Pharaoh might have been seen is a sun pillar. (Please, this is just a thought; I do not want any religious discussion or debate on this blog.)

Image ID#: 110421_MTD-0096a

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9 Comments on “Sun pillar sunset”

  1. Karen Says:

    Beautiful! When I’m luck enough to see a sun pillar, they leave me marveling with awe. Thanks.

  2. Richard Wong Says:

    Very cool Gary! I just learned something new.

  3. Michael Russell Says:

    Very cool – I haven’t seen one of these before. Always nice when something like this happens when you are already out photographing – not stuck in traffic in a car or something.

  4. A.Barlow Says:

    Great shot! Man that place looks so green. I’m going to have to visit one day.

  5. Brian Furbush Says:

    Umm…wow. This is awesome. I’ve never seen a sun pillar before, but I think you did it the justice it deserved 🙂

  6. Greg Russell Says:

    Gorgeous! I’ve seen a few sun pillars before, but never when I have my camera with me. Alas.

  7. David Leland Hyde Says:

    This photograph is a masterpiece and certainly a gift from God. Glad you are taking open comments again. I don’t like logging in to every website under the sun. It’s a major inconvenience and I feel an invasion of privacy to have to give all my information to each site. I loved following and commenting on your blog before. Great work.

  8. enlightphoto Says:

    David: Thanks for writing. Yeah, the comments closing was a glitch that got reset when I upgraded my wordpress. Never my intention, and didn’t even realize it was happening. That’s fixed now, and I greatly appreciate your continued interest and input. Cheers, Gary.

  9. Rajan P. Parrikar Says:

    What a beautiful image!

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