January 07, 2013
Photographer: Patric Benedetti
Summary Authors: Patric Benedetti; Jim Foster
The photo above shows the Sun's rays filtering through a smoky canopy in Lessinia, Verona, Italy, on the afternoon of January 15, 2011. These beams are referred to as crepuscular rays since they're more often noticed at sunset or sunrise. Though typically formed by sunlight streaming through cloud tops on the horizon or through gaps in distant mountains, they may arise any time of day when dust, fog, pollen or smoke is in close proximity to the viewer. Darkened lanes are paths where the sunlight is blocked (shadows). The brightened rays are scattered sunlight -- scattering here is caused by smoke particles. The source of the smoke is a fireplace behind the deciduous trees in the mid-ground -- hidden from view.
Photo details: Canon EOS 600D camera; Canon efs 18-135mm lens; Focal Length: 6.4mm; Focus Distance: 64.4m; Aperture: f/9.0; Exposure Time: 0.0050 s (1/200); ISO equiv: 80; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows.