below zero, icebow, ice, sundog, frigid, minus forty, Canadian rockies, jasper, photo
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Ice Rainbow

Jasper, Alberta

Definitely one of the coldest shots of my life. Air temp: -41 degrees.

In such conditions we can view rare light shows close to Earth which otherwise would only occur in higher in the atmosphere. The phenomenon known as "sun dogs" is one such display, although "Ice Bow" would be a more appropriate name. On two consecutive days near Jasper Alberta this past month temps hovered in and around the -40s, creating spectacularly vibrant ice bows like this. I also observed vertically oriented rainbow-like formations with vivid colors and nacerous clouds. When temps go this low snowflakes/ice cryatals hanging in the air become small flat platelets and refract light, an effect normally reserved for the cirrus layer. Such Ice bows are a beautiful addition to photography but your camera disagrees. The average life of my LCD screen on these days was about 10 minutes before it failed. 10-20 min later my shutter regularly froze shut. It was all worth it though, the constant rewarming of the equipment, because the low temps also produced rare displays of great atmosphere due to both inversions and steam rising from the yet unfrozen springs nearby many shooting locations. Photo © copyright by Marc Adamus.

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