Come to the light

Trirp to Del Norte south of Crescent City. Fog rolled in and light was amazing.

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Comp and processing

Technical Details

60 mm f/22 4 sec iso 250

Amazing light here that you have captured very well (colors, exposure and so on). The framing is also good, but I would have seen that the half tree trunk at the left border would not have been there.

Spectacular light Mario! I agree with Ola on the partial tree trunk on the left. It probably could be easily cloned out. Excellent composition.


I’ve got this on my bucket list! Redwoods - check, sunbeams thru fog, mist or smoke - check. Combined redwoods, sun beams and Rhodies … on my list!

I think you did well given the spontaneity of the moment. These moments are fleeting, and it’s not like you can park yourself somewhere and wait for it to happen… The rays are strong and the light beautiful; in addition to the obvious sun beams, I love the light striking the vegetation in the lower right.

I’ll just be straight and mention a few things I think are a little problematic - these don’t necessarily take away from the beauty and impact, but I do think keep this from being elevated to spectacular. The first is the out of focus branches. The good news is that they mostly blend in with the greenery so they aren’t terribly distracting, and I get the fact that there usually isn’t time to compose the perfect scene. The second I’m not sure if this is processing or natural situation, but it feels like the trunk and shadow areas are pulled up and have gone muddy a little bit. Of course huge dynamic range here, so clearly a processing challenge to start with! Last and the least for me, would be the partial trunk on the left. I think cropping has an advantage here as I think an even narrower presentation might work too; especially since the sun beams don’t stretch to the left edge anyway. Oh, and since I’m being so nit-picky, I might as well mention the black dot/smudge near the top of the center trunks. Not sure if that’s bunny dust, or what. But you could clone out.

I do really like the warmth and color of the rays. Optionally, you could even make a horizontal crop of the upper half just to showcase the light and rays. That eliminates the greenery and light at the bottom - but then again, you weren’t fortunate to have any blossoms either…

Not sure if this is an improvement, but I attempted to work on what I was mentioning to see if this would help. Of course subjective and may or may not work with your intentions or experience. I cropped, worked the trunk areas a little to add contrast and also cloned out the darker oof branch bottom left. The crop also draws attention to the neat burnt out section on the left, but is now more of an eye magnet.

My interpretation, hope you don’t mind (looking now, contrast too high in lower section):

This seems like a religious scene to me. Maybe it’s due to all those years in parochial school. To me this is a cross and the rays support the sanctity of the subject. There is a fair amount of bilateral symmetry in this image and therefore centering the cross makes good sense to me.

Terrific light and moody conditions you’ve captured here Mario. I love the God rays/sun beams, the tree being centered but I have to say that the little trunk on the left could either be cropped or cloned out. Also, I think a 4 second shutter speed in the redwoods is too long and you will most often get some motion blur somewhere, in this case the front branches coming in from the bottom left. I am guilty of this very thing. On my last outing last year at the redwoods, I came home with many branches that were a little bit soft in my images. Note to self…Up the ISO and get a faster shutter speed. :slight_smile: All in all, amazing light!

Classic and classy!!! I’m guessing there was no way to get around the close branch, but it can be minimized a bit, and the sliver of trunk on the left is an easy cleanup. A small move of the dark point could make the trunks more dramatic, but you don’t want to compete with the sky and the rhododendron.

I couldn’t resist playing with it. Cloned out a twig in the center and the OOF branch. Reduced the brights in the LR and cloned out the trunk on the left. Removed the OOF branch where it overlapped the trunk, to make it less obvious. Then darkened the darks on the two trunks just slightly, with a TK 3 darks mask, made more contrasty with its built-in curve and then used it to make a masked curve. Then brushed that off in the LL quadrant.

Too long since I’ve been up that way. Is this that area from the highway where you’re looking down into a gulch? The few times I’ve found the best God beams, the fog was clearing so fast that I was breaking fingernails clawing the camera out of the car as it cleared, and missed the peak.

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Wonderful subject and light and certainly plenty of ways to interpret it as mentioned in the comments. I agree that a tighter crop is in order. Here’s my suggestion. In working on this I noticed a large piece of censor dust on the main trunk near the top. Definitely something to close out.

Thank you all for your time and comments @Lon_Overacker @Ola_Jovall @Igor_Doncov @Tony_Kuyper @Diane_Miller @Eva_McDermott . I am going to clone out the movement on the trunk, crop from left and a bit from bottom and dust bunny.