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Sunball and Sunburst? One and the same?

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Recently on this site I've noticed the words sunburst and sunball thrown around somewhat loosely to describe various images...and yet often the images I see them describe really could be better titled by the other word...

 

For example, this is what I take to be a sunball:

 

_MG_2378_4w.jpg

 

Had a better picture from PNG, but that's on my other computer in my dorm (on spring break so that one isn't exactly reachable right now :D )...either way, the *sunball* would be a generally uniform, brightly lit shape that can clearly be known as the sun, but is only a light spot.

 

This, on the other hand, would be a sunburst:

 

_MG_2769_2w.jpg

 

The rays are clearly defined, and the sun can be seen to be "bursting" from a central point, spreading over the picture.

 

What are your thoughts? I'm trying to get a feel on what other people think of when either of the two words is mentioned...another example of a sunburst would've been the old Wetpixel main image...

 

~Matt Segal

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The words do appear to be used as synonyms.

 

My understanding of sunburst is similar to yours, but I wonder whether this picture by Alex Mustard is more of a sunball?

post-2831-1110938565_thumb.jpg

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A very useful discussion, Matt.

 

Here is my take on it. And I'm not sure I am right.

 

I would say that any picture of the sun underwater is a sunburst - which is made up of the sunball and the sun rays.

 

The extent of the rays is dependant on the sea comditions - glassy smooth (no wind) is best. Although small waves don't matter as long as there is no wind stress.

 

Sunballs are smallest in the middle of the day and increase in size when the sun is at a low angle or when rough sea state spreads them out.

 

When a sunburst has no rays at all it is probably best referred to as a sunball.

 

Here is a pic of what I mean. I'm not sure I am right, but this is what I mean.

 

sun_labelled.jpg

 

Alex

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Sunburst, sunball. I think the terms are interchangeable. I would use sunburst for both images. If forced to say which one is more like a "sunball", I'd pick the second one (where the sun is a defined ball-like thing, albeit with rays) rather than the first.

 

I'd also be willing to go with Alex's idea (which popped up between the time that I hit reply and got to this page). In his terminology, the first image would be a sunburst without a clearly defined sunball.

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In terms of the picture you put up Alex, I would say that a sunburst has sunrays, whereas a sunball does not. It would then be incorrect to call any such picture of the sun a sunburst...In the picture from the D2X review, however, the absence of rays would leave you with a sunball.

 

Literally, the words have different meanings...it's difficult for me to think of using them interchangeably.

 

~Matt Segal

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Well, looks like we all have fairly different interpretations of what means what here.

 

Both definitions are really variations on a theme. However, my personal preference, having seen the arguments in favour of each, would be to go with Matt's definitions. Alex's definition may cause confusion, whereas Matt's is simpler to explain to newbies - no rays = ball, rays = burst.

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