Posted by: glandorescilly | 30/06/2010

Sunset with crepuscular rays

This photo was taken on the evening of Tuesday 29th June at about 8pm from our gallery window overlooking Porthloo. Steve had just returned late from a long afternoon painting on the Garrison and we were discussing dinner when we glanced out of the kitchen window and saw the beginning of this fabulous sunset.

I grabbed my camera, dashed into the gallery, threw open the window and snapped about twenty photographs on my Fuji Finepix S5800 over about four minutes, switching from auto to sunset to night settings in an attempt to capture what was a fast developing and ephemeral phenomenon.

Crepuscular ray sunset 29th June 2010

The result was a series of images showing crepuscular rays at their most spectacular, illuminating the sea with an unearthly orange light as the sun shone through a gap in the clouds. We’ve had some good sunsets on Scilly this year, possibly due to the Ejyafjallajökull volcano eruption in Iceland in April 2010 that threw so much fine ash into the atmosphere. Mind you, having a  kitchen with a west facing window does tend to give an advantage when it comes to dashing to a window/out onto the beach to take photographs!

The image below only has minimal zoom just to cut out the boundary hedge of our property and give some idea of the scale of the light show that we enjoyed. I have to admit, we don’t get a great many sunsets showing this phenomenon and this was a particularly good one. We had a visitor in the Gallery today who was pretty miffed at missing it because he was having dinner with his family at 8pm.

Taken at approximately 8pm on 29th June 2010

“Everyone can appreciate the beauty of crepuscular rays, and with good reason: they’re inspiring, uplifting and often simply wondrous. Poets refer to them in their works; artists have tried to recapture them on canvas; a morning with sunbeams is the most cheerful morning of all. Sunbeams, as they’re commonly called (other nicknames are sunbursts, sun rays and Jacob’s Ladder). Crepuscular refers to the hours of dusk and dawn, which is when these optical displays are most likely to appear. Crepuscular rays are often very striking when you seem them under water”

Web reference: 10 Breathtaking Natural Cloud and Color Formations



  1. Wow. That’s an inspirational image for a painting.

    BTW, forgive my ignorance but by “Gallery and Apartments”, you mean your premise is both an art gallery and accommodations combined? Cheers!

  2. Hi Ivan,
    Yes, we have a pretty big property so the ground floor is ours, the first floor has the Gallery and the second floor and roof conversion has two self catering holiday apartments. Not far to commute to work, eh? 😉

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