Forests are a great place to photograph because there’s so many different ways to interpret the same scene. Before the sun creeps in you can photograph the peaceful forest at rest, with all the trees and leaves in their slumbering glory. In the spring, flowers bloom adding new elements to the scene. By summer they’re gone and you have just the leaves and the trees. In winter, the leaves are gone and snow can add a different element. Wait for the sun to creep in and light rays can transform the scene. Along the coast, fog can hide parts of the forest and focus on particular elements.
We knew this area of the forest might get light rays so we kept close. Or maybe I’m making this up and we just happened to be in the area when the sun set low enough to start creating beams. We photographed several different views of the beams while the fog and the setting sun kept them in the forest.
Although we started out much wider, trying to capture “gods rays” as we call them, beaming out in all directions around a tree, I was also transfixed by the way some of the side beams were lighting up the redwood trees and warming them up. I could imagine being one of these trees, loving the warmth of the sun shining in. As a peaceful observer it was hard not to feel warmer just looking at these.
Nikon D850 w/Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8:
86mm, f/11, 1/5 sec, ISO 200