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on Nov 10, 2017 in Field Reports

Luminar 18’s Sun Ray

Light beams are a special way to celebrate light in our photographs. Capturing God Beams is simply a gorgeous way to bring drama to our visual stories. They not only lead the eye through the frame but give a “warm all under” feeling making them simply a win-win to include whenever possible. The classical way of capturing those beams is to include the sun in the frame, close the lens down to its smallest f/stop and go click. If there is no cloud, zero, between your camera and the sun, you can bring those beams in. Not every lens makes a great sunburst so you can use a filter, technique like The Pinch and now, Luminar ’18’s Sun Ray!

Yes, you could create sun rays where there were none, but that’s not how I’m using this great new tool. Rather, I’m using it where there is a slight cloud cover between the sun and lens so the beams are really wimpy. IMHO if you can see the effect, you’re using it too strongly. In this case, Luminar 18’s Sun Ray is enhancing what I was already incorporating into my photograph. It’s a thing of beauty with the most difficult thing was pointing the D850 / 18-35AFS and making the click.

The beauty of the Sun Ray is its simplicity. Understanding light and how it’s playing in your photograph, you can first place the sun ray where you want it in the frame. Then with its settings, you can increase or decrease the White Balance of the beams, quantity, intensity, all the controls you need to meld the sun ray filter with your beams. I posted an earlier time version of this photo on Instagram a few days back before I explored the Sun Ray. While it has beams, it doesn’t have BEAMS with LIGHT like this finished photo has. It was my favorite for only few days. While it’s a tool I’ll use very sparingly, it’s a tool none the less and the more you know, the more power you can place in your visual storytelling!

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