Mystical light that occurs only a few days every year captured in a series of stunning images
True natural beauty: The stunning light at Keyhole Arch, Pfeiffer Beach, California, this mystical beacon of light shining through the arch looks like it has come straight out of an Indiana Jones film.
But rather than be created with special effects, the orange glow is a natural phenomenon that only occurs during a few weeks of every year. Capturing the stunning and rare light on camera is one of biggest trophies for nature photographers in the U.S.
The rays occur in the weeks surrounding Winter Solstice when the sun sets at the perfect level behind the arch on Pfeiffer Beach, California. The arch is known as Keyhole Arch or Pfeiffer Arch and acts as a magnet to professional and amateur photographers from all over the world.
The glorious light happens when the sun sets directly behind the opening and when the tide is high enough to reflect the light perfectly. To create the almost supernatural glow a clear sky is needed and no clouds on the horizon so the setting sun catches the wave’s reflection in the right manner.
The arch is a natural formation and measures about 20ft by 20ft. The special beam of light only lasts for about five minutes before the sun finally sets.
Its brevity means that photographers are forced to jostle for position on the beach to get the correct angle – approximately 35 degrees. Mark Brodkin waded into the water to get these perfect shots.
The 45-year-old from Toronto, Canada, said: ‘The light was created by the sun and the reflection of the light from the water onto the arch’s inner wall. ‘The orange light only appeared for the final few minutes of the sunset.
‘It must be the right time of year for this effect to occur but when it all comes together it is amazing. ‘I took some of the shots from the beach but for others I waded into the water and positioned my tripod on a small rock.
‘This was the first time I had ever seen this effect and I was completely awestruck by it.’ The arch is located in the water off Pfeiffer Beach, known for its purple sand, in Big Sur.
[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” width=”620″ ]CAPTURING THE RARE GLOW
The amazing light in Keyhole Arch attracts hundreds of photographers every year desperate to capture its stunning glow.
It occurs in the weeks surrounding winter solstice when the sun sets directly behind the arch.
The tide must also be high enough for the light to reflect off its surface.
The sky must also be clear on the horizon.
Some photographers maintain it must be captured at a 35 degree angle for the perfect shot.[/box]