How to capture ray of light (RoL)

I love to capture ray of light. I usually get this moment when rain season. In Indonesia, rain season usually around September until April.

Equipment

I have been lucky enough to shoot them under different conditions, so I was able to experiment a bit with settings and what equipment to use. I have refined my shooting to use the following

  • Tripod (or flat surface to place camera) – all shots I take of beams are with a slow shutter speed
  • Wired/wireless remote (or set your camera to 2sec self-timer) – will stop camera shake and keep the shots nice and crisp
  • DSLR or Mirrorless using Manual settings, or using mobile phone
  • Wide angle lens

I have even been successful shooting beams on my iPhone or Android.

Shooting

First and foremost, shooting sun rays can be tricky even when you’re ready. They can appear and disappear in the blink of an eye. You might need to take one or two test shots depending on the light, and adjust your camera accordingly.

So once you have all your gear ready to go, venture out to a place that has the 3 essentials listed above.

If you venture into the forest, look for a spot that has a little stream or a small water source that is being warmed by the sun. If you can see the steam rising up, that would be a good spot to set up your tripod.

Make sure to look for a good composition and see if you can get a sunburst in the shot as well. If you are planning on taking a selfie, just remember you need to hold really still as it’s a slow shutter

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