Jacob's Ladder

February 15, 2012

Jacobsrays (4)

Photographer: Bill Curry; Bill's Web site
Summary Author: Bill Curry; Jim Foster

The photo above showing rays of sunlight breaking through a sullen sky was taken after a brief but intense snow squall in Port Maitland, Nova Scotia, Canada. Many people refer to scenes such as this as Jacob’s Ladder or God Rays as the light coming through the clouds does appear as if it's leading one to ascend to heaven. Of course, what we're seeing is sunlight streaming through gaps in clouds in the vicinity of the Sun. They can be seen any time of day but are most noticeable when the Sun is low in the sky or even below the horizon. When observed at dusk or dawn, the rays are appropriately called crepuscular rays (twilight rays). Perspective makes it seem that the rays are fanning out from the Sun (hidden by the clouds), but in fact, they're basically parallel to each other. Photo taken at 4:48 p.m., about 45 minutes before sunset, on January 30, 2012.

Photo details: Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION; Camera Model: NIKON D3S; Lens: 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8; Focal Length: 70mm (35mm equivalent: 70mm); Focus Distance: Infinite; Aperture: f/10.0; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 200; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: Manual; Exposure Mode: Manual; White Balance: Manual; Light Source: Fine Weather; Flash Fired: No; Orientation: Normal; Color Space: Adobe RGB (1998); Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Macintosh. Adobe Camera Raw used to tweak the raw-format image, adjusting the contrast to bring out the color.