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Heiligenschein, Holy Light
Imaged by Kevin Boyle.

The antisolar point, the point directly opposite the sun, is a favoured spot for optical effects. It is the tip of shadows, the centre of the multi-ringed glory, the pivot of rainbows and fogbows, the crossing of many ice halos, the haunt of the elusive gegenschein and the locale of the soft glow made by hidden shadows.

This glow around the antisolar point, and photographer's camera and head, is a "heiligenschein". It is produced when droplets on a morning dew-wet lawn bring sunlight to a rough focus on leaves or other surfaces. Some of the concentrated light is then scattered backwards through the drop towards the viewer. The result, a bright speckled glow centered on the eye, or in this case the camera lens.

A heiligenschein is always centered on your head, it is your own heiligenschein. Stand with a friend and they will not be so illuminated. They, of course, will see and think otherwise because they will have their own personal heiligenschein.

Image ©Kevin Boyle, shown with permission.