Crepuscular Rays from the Air

Seen from the air the true scale of cloud crepuscular rays becomes apparent. Sunbeams travel through many miles of hazy air between the shadowing clouds and the ground.

On a much smaller scale individual trees on the ridgeline cast their shadows on very light fog in the valley below. Seen from the ground these appeared as crepuscular rays diverging from the sun.

Cloud shadow falling on hazy air can lead to some nice shadow effects. A lot depends on the background, above the cloud the shadows are more visible against the blue sky but below it they are lost in the murk.

On reaching the cloud layer the reason for the higher contrast becomes obvious. The clear air above the cloud provides a good background. (The bright rays and spectrum at top right are due to lens reflections)

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