Source of the Heiligenschein

A mixture of spherical and flattened drops on a leaf. The smaller drops act in the same way as glass beads in a road sign and send much of the light back in the direction it came.

The larger drop is very distorted so that the brightening is in a different direction and doesn't contribute to the heiligenschein.

A closeup view of individual drops, seen from the side, showing the intense image of the sun formed by each drop. When viewed from a point off to the left these images become the source of the heilgenschein glow.

A very large number of drops are need to show the full effect. You also have to be far enough away that the shadow of your head doesn't shade the drops!

Canon EOS 20D   7th August 2008
Wiltshire, England

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