Posted by: photographytuition | February 22, 2012

How to photograph the green flash.

I’ve photographed the green flash but I’ve never seen it!

In fact I used to think it was a bit of a myth until one day I was sorting through a heap of sunset photographs and there it was. What a brilliant surprise!

Click on the photo to enlarge.

The green flash. Nikon D80 with 70-300mm at 195mm. ISO 320. 1/750, f8.

The photograph above was taken at sunset January 2011 during very clear conditions.

Clear, haze free conditions usually occur in Britain when the wind is from the north.

The camera was set on vivid to get a punchier sunset. The photo is cropped a little but apart from that it’s unedited and unmodified in any way.

I didn’t take many photos of the sunset and was totally unaware I’d captured the green flash.

This photo is particularly unusual in that it shows part of a normal sunset at the same time as the green flash.

What is the green flash?

It’s all to do with the refraction or bending of light. Wikipedia gives a very good account of it.

When can you see it?

At sunset or sunrise. It occurs just above the sun as it disappears/appears from below the horizon. Clearly it’s much easier to photograph the sun setting than trying to guess exactly where the sun will rise from.

Where can you see it?

Anywhere. It doesn’t have to be over the sea. My photo was taken from 1,500 feet with the sun setting behind the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons at nearly 3,000 feet.

There’s loads of advice online about photographing the green flash – using filters, tripods, focal length etc – my advice: just give it a go and, like me, you might be lucky.

If you would like to contact me email or take a look at my website . I run courses in the Brecon Beacons for photographers of all abilities. Green flash sunsets a possibility!



  1. I had never heard of the green flash. Thanks for the information and the great photo.

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