Crepuscular Rays Through Clouds Over Mountain - Landscape Photography
Vineyards in the foreground, clouds over the mountain and crepuscular rays. This photo was taken at Delaire Graaf Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Crepuscular rays are caused by the clouds blocking the sunlight with columns of rays passing through the clouds separated by shade areas . Apparently there is proof that these rays are all parallel even though not all the rays look parallel on photos. The rays spreading out into different angles is an optical illusion but some people rather refer to the rays as being almost parallel. This phenomenon usually occurs during twilight hours although this photo was taken almost in midday
Crepuscular rays in the sky can last very long and create dramatic lighting in a landscape photo. When these rays are caused by fog or mist they usually don’t last very long and can easily be missed. Crepuscular rays can make a photo look magical and add an extra element in a photo that can make it stand out from the rest.
This photo has quite a big difference in stops of light between the shadows and highlights. I purposefully underexposed the photo with a stop of light when looking at the histogram. Then in Adobe Photoshop increased the shadows and decreased the highlights both to 100. The reason for the underexposing of the photo is to make sure I do not clip the highlights. The alternative was to take a few photos with different exposures and merge them in Photoshop but that requires a tripod which I did not bring with me. I also prefer taking one photo and then increasing the dynamic range of the photo in post production.
I will refer to “clipping the highlights” in a later post.
This photo was taken in June 2014 with a Canon 5D MkIII and Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM.
Camera Settings: f/8.0, 1/400 seconds and ISO 100