Earth Shadow Photographs

Photographs of Earth Shadow

Earth Shadow is an atmospheric phenomenon most easily seen on a cloudless morning with a relatively clear horizon. But you have to get up early to see it, since it occurs before sunrise! Have you ever seen those layers of blue, purple and pink along the horizon just before sunrise or just after sunset? The darker sky, lowest on the horizon, is actually the shadow of the Earth cast upon the atmosphere, while the lighter sky above is the atmosphere as it is lit by the sun. As dawn nears, the shadowed portion of the sky is squeezed down on the horizon and disappears. The pink in the upper “layer” is the result of the sun passing at a highly oblique angle through the dust-filled atmosphere to the east (or west at sunset), colored by the particulate suspended in the air. I made a couple of photographs illustrating earth shadow recently while doing some early morning photography in La Jolla along with an older one from some years ago in Morro Bay:

La Jolla Cove and earth shadow at dawn.  Just before sunrise the shadow of the Earth can seen as the darker sky below the pink sunrise

La Jolla Cove and earth shadow at dawn. Just before sunrise the shadow of the Earth can seen as the darker sky below the pink sunrise
Image ID: 26523
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Earth Shadow lies over Point La Jolla at dawn

Earth Shadow lies over Point La Jolla at dawn.
Image ID: 26444
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Earth shadow over Morro Rock and Morro Bay.  Just before sunrise the shadow of the Earth can seen as the darker sky below the pink sunrise

Earth shadow over Morro Rock and Morro Bay. Just before sunrise the shadow of the Earth can seen as the darker sky below the pink sunrise.
Image ID: 22213
Location: Morro Bay, California, USA

By the way, earth shadow occurs after sunset as well. But I’m usually slaving away at the grill or watching my daughters’ volleyball practices so I rarely photograph end-of-day earth shadow…

See more photos of La Jolla and Morro Bay photographs.