Crystal Halos
Images by Radek Grochowski in the Karkonosze Mountains, Poland, 19th December.
©Radek Grochowski, shown with permission
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Diamond dust, crystals afloat nearby, touchable, glinting, sparkling, swirling, pricking the skin, making halos.  

The [top] photo was taken during a hike at an altitude of 1400 meters. The temperature was -8 degrees C with wind gusts up to 40 km/h.  The lens was zoomed on the right parhelion and 22° halo. The focus was close to infinity so the ice crystals were generally off-focus. The bigger the crystal image the closer it was.”   Off-focus images better show individual glint colours.

The lower picture was ten minutes earlier.. “A wind gust raised myriad ice crystals off the frozen ground and suddenly a beautiful halo appeared. You can clearly see individual crystals, notably those in lower right corner, just a few meters from the camera. In less than a minute this part of the display was over.