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Thread: Sunset

  1. #1
    Reed Waters's Avatar
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    Sunset

    Took this tonight.

    Sunset


    Does it work? C & C welcome.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Sunset

    There's a very nice light starting to develop there in the sky.

    I wondered about taking down a stop or two in post processing, so that the land was darkened up a bit and we got some more detail in the sky. But, as always, you were the person standing there at the time amd know what you were seeing and what you wanted to convey in the image.

    Also, I wondered how this scene looked later, when the sun had gone down.

  3. #3
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Sunset

    Hi Reed, for me there are many elements that contribute. The foreground has character, the tree frames the right side and is balanced by the darker clouds on the left, and the clouds break up the glair of the sun into pleasing rays. All in all, a very pleasing composition.

    Any time we shoot into the sun we can expect a high contrast image and often one that has a wider exposure range than can be effectively captured without loosing detail in the shadows and highlights. I can't be certain, but it looks like the image is pretty much strait out of the camera with little or no post processing involved. Please forgive me if I'm incorrect. The sky appears to be overexposed and the meadow, underexposed, unless, as Donald points out, that this is what you want to convey.

    If you wanted to get a narrower contrast range, some additional post processing work could help and if you took multiple exposures on a tripod and combine the images in post processing, it would be easier to manipulate the exposure levels.

    Given the height and position of the clouds, I would expect this sky to produce a smashing sunset in about 30-40 minutes from the time the shot was taken.

  4. #4
    Reed Waters's Avatar
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    Re: Sunset

    Thanks for the replies.

    I was taking photos in an old graveyard and was walking back to my car when I saw the sun. I was completely behind the vertical cloud, rays going everywhere. By the time that I was set up and discovered my grad ND were in my other bag, the cloud was moving. The clouds were moving fairly fast. I waited there for about a half hour and it just petered out.

    In the shot above I used LR3 gradients to lighten the ground. At this point, I am OK with LR3 but still have a lot to learn. Here is a version I did in PSE9, which I have a whole lot to learn. This version pops a lot more but is there too much noise?

    Sunset

  5. #5
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Sunset

    Hi Reed and welcome to CiC. I am not sure I have seen your work before.


    I look and look at this shot and just can't put my finger on it. The first one is too flat and I agree with Donald the foreground need to be silhouetted but there is not a strong subject to silhouette so you will finish up with a of black at the bottom of the image.


    Version 2 just doesn’t do it. The foreground has been lightened like daylight and the colours artificially saturated to compensate. I know you mentioned you are practising so please don’t take this as a criticism, I am just trying to work out this image as I write.


    If you can change the white balance setting in LR or in PSE I would first check that out. Sunsets/sunrises are very warm in colour and auto white balancetries to add blue to even the light out to replicate white light at midday.This will flatten off the colour in your shot. To compensate some try to saturate colours creating a false appearance when it is a white balance issue.


    To preserve the colours of a sunrise or sunset use Daylight white balance setting (not auto) or for a little added oomph use the Cloudy setting. Once you have established that then you can work on the rest of the image.


    I think I have worked out the dilemma. # 2 offers me two subjects – the foreground and the sky. I do not know what you want me to look at (this often occurs withHDR IMO). So for me anyway you need to choose what is important in this image but you cannot have two subjects of interest.

  6. #6
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Sunset

    Hi Reed, I think that Peter has identified an important aspect of this composition, that is that usually two subjects tend to confuse the eye's focus point. Usually, it works better if the secondary subject complements the first.

    Please forgive me for changing your image. I adjusted the sky and foreground exposure and warmed the color of the foreground to try to move closer to what Donald, Peter, and I are talking about. I hope it meets all of your expectations. If it doesn't, I am still learning as well so any additional insight is welcomed!

    Sunset

  7. #7
    Reed Waters's Avatar
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    Re: Sunset

    Yep Frank, that is much better. After I posted the 2nd version I realized that I had the green way too bright.

    Thanks everyone for the help, it does give me more to work on. I hope you're all ready, I have more to post.

    I've been using SLRs for 35 - 40 years. I started with a Pentax K1000 (I still think everyone who wants to be a "photographer" should use that camera for a while). I just moved into digital within the last year. There is so much more options with digital but that's also my problem. There a lot to be said for picking your film, picking a lens, centering the needle and pushing the button. Hell, every time I dial an ISO above 800 there's a voice in the back of my head screaming "NO, NO, NO".

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