Crepuscular rays, also called God rays, are sort of a natural phenomenon. They can be found in all corners of the world, in cities as well as jungles.
Crepuscular rays form whenever there’s such a distortion in sun/moonlight that makes it look as though pillars of light are stretched out. This distortion can be caused by clouds, trees, windows of a building anything of such sort.
Cinematographers, artists and designers have continuously been inspired with this pattern of light and they have used it to symbolize hope, strength, peace and many other things.
There’s another thing called Anticrepuscular rays. They are almost the same as normal crepuscular rays but don’t converge from the sun or moon, rather they converge from the exact opposite point (called anti solar point). These rays are not as strong as normal crepuscular rays and they are only found stretched along the sky. Twilight hours are ideal for observing them.
Photography Tips for Capturing Crepuscular Rays
The first rule is to be on the right place at the right time. That’s not really a tip but really, you have to be lucky to find these rays in such a way that they make a good pictures. Some photographers openly suggest using dodge and burn tools (from Photoshop) but I find it unethical. I suggest we play with contrast.
One trick of using contrast effectively is underexposing the photo by 1EV, and then enhancing contrast via software.
You can also work with HDR if you’d like.
Second, and most basic rule of photographing light rays is that you need to focus on light, not the landscape, not the background, just light.
A little tip is to find places which have a little bit of mist. That maybe smoke, fog or even dust. Light rays look amazing with mist.
Place yourself in a shadow. Your lens shouldn’t be in the light.
I guess there’s nothing much else to discuss, so let’s get going towards the pictures.
Pictures of Crepuscular Rays
This is an early morning photo by Stephen Emerson. The morning fog was just about to evaporate but Emerson was too quick for it.
Bart Ceuppens captured this photo. It was chosen for the HIPA photo contest and was chosen for the annual book.
This photo is reedited by Bipphy Kath but it is not an HDR.
La Mo is credited with this wonderful photo.
Martin took this amazing shot. Of course, these lights are not the sun or the moon, they are headlights of the vehicles buzzing along across the road.
This is a photo by Andrea Auf dem Brinke (and we thought Sri Lankans had long names).
Svein Nordrum took this beautiful crepuscular lights photo of a man setting off for skating.
Rick White and his wife went on an amazing adventure in Indonesia. They have also made a video their journey, which you can check out on Youtube.
Ted Gore couldn’t resist capturing the majestic scenery when he went to Moraine Lake. This image is edited to look darker for a forceful impact.
Lars Van De Goor captured this photo. This is lightly after sunrise.
Another one by Lars Van De Goor.
A photographer (did not disclose their name) from South Korea took photo.
Scottish mountains of Storr captured by Gary Howells.
Marcin Sobas captures rays of mystical light one a mountain range.
Charungroj Bunphabuth captured this in Loei, Thailand.
Daniel Řeřicha captured this amazing shot in the home of mountains, Switzerland.
Krzystztof Browko was at the right place on the right time.
Daniel Řeřicha comes back with another Swiss photo.
Dare Torensk goes into the jungle to capture crepuscular rays.
Lars Van de Goor hits back with another masterpiece.
Once again, it’s Lars Van de Goor.
Remus Tiplea creates a gloomy but peaceful photo.
That’s it for now. Guys, please comment. Your comments make our efforts worthwhile. Thanks.