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Spider silk glitter path

While taking a walk, I noticed a field that was covered with fine spider silks. The sun was rather low (about 10°) and made a kind of lower light pillar appear in the silks. When I took a closer look, I could also see concentric circles of light with the sun in their centre.(2)

These circles are caused by the perspective and the angle in which the light strikes the surface of the spider silks. The light gets reflected best to the observer when the reflecting surface is positioned at an angle of 90° to the source of light. A similar effect can be observed when a street lamp shines throug wet branches of a tree.(3)(4)

The “lower light pillar” can be seen better because the sun as the source of light shines vertically down onto the field and all spider silks in this direction reflect the light towards the observer.

Place : Kämpfelbach, Germany
Time : 01 November 2011
DSLR Camera : Canon EOS 450d
Exposure : 1/60 sec, f/22mm, F/10, ISO 100

Author: Michael Großmann, Kämpfelbach, Germany