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“God rays” over the Pacific from Palos Verdes

God rays shine from between the clouds over a dark Pacific

God rays shine from between the clouds over a dark Pacific

A couple years ago I was on an exploratory trip down to the Palos Verdes area. I drove down there as a random photo trip to see what could be seen. Eventually while driving on Palos Verdes drive I ran into Point Vicente Lighthouse. Adjacent to this lighthouse was a reception area for weddings and events, and a nice path that went right along the cliff. This is where I headed to take pictures.

Point Vicente Lighthouse

Point Vicente Lighthouse

What struck me first about this location was the weather that was happening. A prime motivation for going on this photo trip was the fact that we were getting some clouds and weather in the LA area that day. The lack of weather here can sometimes make photographing the surrounding landscape a bit dull. Looking out over the Pacific this day yielded a dramatic scene. In Visual Effects, we generally refer to the beams of light shining down like such as these as “god rays.” In fact there are plugins for software that can generate them. With my photography however, I keep everything real. These god rays were right there before my eyes and captured in camera.

Interplay of light and dark

Interplay of light and dark

After taking a few pictures I realized a time lapse sequence would be really cool. Here is the result with one frame taken every 10 seconds:


I wish I would have done one frame every 2 seconds, and that I had let it go longer. Here is an iPhone pic of the camera taking the time lapse:

Rig for this time lapse: Canon 20d on Manfrotto 055MF4

Rig for this time lapse: Canon 20d on Manfrotto 055MF4

It’s a neat area that I hope to return to again.

September 16, 2009 - 10:41 pm

Cary - That time lapse sequence is badass!

God really spoke to me there.

September 22, 2009 - 5:51 am

Kristen - Kurt, that time-lapse is awesome! However, I think the picture immediately preceding it is my favorite. The lighting is very dramatic.

C o n n e c t
F l i c k r

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