Oropos Sunset

By: Anthony Ayiomamitis


Region: Europe

Site: Oropos - Greece

Date: 2009 November 25

A common misconception is that the sun (or moon) is larger when it is near the horizon than when it is high overhead. However the apparent size of the sun is nearly the same when it is rising or setting near the horizon or when viewed overhead (in fact, it is very slightly smaller when viewed near the horizon due to refraction as well as the greater added distance in observing across the earth's radius). This illusion has been wrongly attributed to landmarks near the horizon, such as homes and trees, supposedly giving a sense of perspective and whereas the same perspective is lost when looking at the overhead sun bathed in an empty sky. The real reason behind this trick by our brain is the perception of the sun (or moon) being against a "close" or "distant" foreground. Here TWAN photographer has captured the setting sun a few kilometers from the seaside resort area of Oropos northeast of Athens and whose history dates to the time of the golden age of ancient Greece. The foreground is the Church of Agia Eleousa which lies atop a mountain at an altitude of approximately 165 meters. The photo was taken from a distance of 3495 meters away to the east of Agia Eleousa so as to yield a reasonable balance in the aspect ratio involving the foreground church and setting sun as well as to provide the ideal azimuth and altitude for these photos to be possible. Anthony Ayiomamitis/

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