This was spotted on Tuesday 19 February 2008 at 17:54. I believe it is the phenomenon known as an afterglow, where dust, ice or cloud high up in the atmosphere scatters light from the sun. Shortly after sunset there was a large area of bright white light in the blue sky, on the western horizon. It was as if the air itself was glowing. This in turn lit up the ground on the east side of my house as if the sun were still high in the sky, which is what attracted my attention.
The upper picture shows how the photograph came out. The lower one is my attempt to adjust the picture to make the scene appear as it did in real life.
The picture was taken with my zoom lens at its widest, 18mm (equivalent to 27mm for a 35mm camera). I took multiple pictures with different exposure settings, and they all came out approximately the same, with a golden glow and a black sky. Cameras sometimes struggle to capture what the human eye can see.
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