This pillar of light is real, no Photoshop funny stuff. It's just seconds before the sun rises on January 12, 2011. Taken from the roof of 262W 107th.
Taken from our roof (262W) and pointing northeast. That's our building in the bottom left corner, Ascension Church in the lower middle, and St. John the Divine Cathedral in the far center.
Also taken on January 12, 2011 two minutes after the first photo.
This is two separate images stitched together in Photoshop, covering from north on the left side to east on the right.
Taken about 9:30 at night, this photo needed about fifteen seconds of exposure. That streak in the sky is a plane taking off from LaGuardia airport.