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Thread: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

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    Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Not quite ideal conditions - more testing the composition for a better evening. Interested to hear what others think

    30 Seconds @ F22 @ ISO 100 with Singh-Ray Vari-ND on Canon EF70-200 F2.8L IS USM on Canon 1Ds3.

    Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

  2. #2
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Yeah, the idea is sound I think. Like you said not ideal conditions, would like to see more detail and colour. Maybe some cloning on the right.

  3. #3

    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Colin
    Is it possible to find a higher vantage point and open the mid ground to show the water between the dock and the background hills? Doing this would give five strips of colour and create separation between the dock and the background.
    john

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    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    It has a good feel. I like the exposure and silhouette concept but it does need a center of interest - something to take me deeper into the image. A snaggy old fishing boat with ropes and booms would be nice but a rowboat may also work.

    A higher angle has been suggested, I was going to suggest a lower angle from near the water. You can experiment with both and decide from there. You have the location, now all you have to do is wait for someone to float some more props in.

    Chuck

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    pixel pete's Avatar
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    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Colin,
    I agree the others. You have the makings of a very nice setting for a beautiful picture. Just a matter of waiting for something special to come into the picture in the foreground.

    Hell if you can't wait, then make it happen. Pose someone there with a lantern, warm light though to make it blend and look more natural.


    I played around with your picture in Photoshop to darken the sky. I hope you don't mind.
    Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Sorry if the "burn" is as they say in the darkroom days, too heavy-handed. Like the "hand of God" burn.

    I just used a gradual, linear gradient. Sort of like using a gradual Neutral density filter.

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    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    I agree with cloning out those small posts on the right side and also wonder if a slight crop of the left side and possibly a fraction off the bottom might produce a better balance. But not too much, it's almost perfect.

    The trouble, I find, with these ideal locations is that you can go there every day for months and not get perfect conditions; but the one day you miss there is a spectacular sunset!

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    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Colin,

    This is an interesting picture with a nice and calm feeling. I think other people's suggestion is worth trying: a higher angle or lower angle viewpoint.

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    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by Chelseablue View Post
    Yeah, the idea is sound I think. Like you said not ideal conditions, would like to see more detail and colour. Maybe some cloning on the right.
    Thanks Mark,

    I'm waiting for a day where there's no cloud down around the mountains in the distance - but it has to co-incide with an appropriate tide - AND - a nice blue -> orange transitioning afterglow - then we should get more background seperation and better colours

    Colour at the moment is biased towards "orange sunset", but can of course be adjusted to whatever suits when I get the right conditions.

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    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by john w revie View Post
    Colin
    Is it possible to find a higher vantage point and open the mid ground to show the water between the dock and the background hills? Doing this would give five strips of colour and create separation between the dock and the background.
    john
    Hi John,

    Thanks for that.

    In a word, no - not possible (short of hiring a cherry picker).

    There is an apartment block behind - and I was offered the use of a balcony by one kind lady - but it would give the other problem of being too high, unfortunately.

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    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by CNelson View Post
    It has a good feel. I like the exposure and silhouette concept but it does need a center of interest - something to take me deeper into the image. A snaggy old fishing boat with ropes and booms would be nice but a rowboat may also work.

    A higher angle has been suggested, I was going to suggest a lower angle from near the water. You can experiment with both and decide from there. You have the location, now all you have to do is wait for someone to float some more props in.

    Chuck
    Hi Chuck,

    Thanks for that - I like silhouette shots, but not sure what I can do to create more of a center of interest - even if I can get a boat there (difficult to say the least) then the long exposures needed for smooth waters invariably give rise to boat movement

    Lower angle might be possible at low tide (ie me underneath the platform in waders (again) with tripod 1/2 submerged (again!).

    Thanks for the ideas!

  11. #11

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    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by pixel pete View Post
    Hell if you can't wait, then make it happen. Pose someone there with a lantern, warm light though to make it blend and look more natural.
    Hi Pete, thanks for that. Might be possible - only problem is it was shot with quite a long lens (about 90mm off memory - haven't checked Exif) - so if I put a model on the shoreline (and shoot from below) they'll fill up the screen - and if I go wide angle then I'll get far too much background. And as I mentioned above, putting a boat there doesn't work with 30 second exposures (due to movement).

    I played around with your picture in Photoshop to darken the sky. I hope you don't mind.
    Don't mind at all - thanks for that. I'll have to have a play with that, although these normally get printed on 22" x 44" canvas, and darker enges end up getting wrapped around the enge of the frame (the top bit doesn't get seen).

    Sorry if the "burn" is as they say in the darkroom days, too heavy-handed. Like the "hand of God" burn.

    I just used a gradual, linear gradient. Sort of like using a gradual Neutral density filter.
    I normally just use the burn too and "hand adjust" images although for larger areas I do use your technique (and vary the opacity of the layer to get the amount right).

  12. #12

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    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    I agree with cloning out those small posts on the right side and also wonder if a slight crop of the left side and possibly a fraction off the bottom might produce a better balance. But not too much, it's almost perfect.
    Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for that. I should have mentioned that these are composed for canvas printing where a small part of the image is "lost" dueto wrapping around the side of the frame - so I shoot a little wider to compensate (which is what you see here).

    The trouble, I find, with these ideal locations is that you can go there every day for months and not get perfect conditions; but the one day you miss there is a spectacular sunset!
    Tell me about it! I've got up in the middle of the night and driven 1/2 hour to 1 location about 1/2 dozen times now, waiting for perfect conditions. On one occasion I had an absolutely killer sunrise - fantastic clouds but "bozo brain" (me) didn't check the AF (I used to let the camera AF then switch to MF) and each and every shot was out of focus

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    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by Yan Zhang View Post
    Colin,

    This is an interesting picture with a nice and calm feeling. I think other people's suggestion is worth trying: a higher angle or lower angle viewpoint.
    Thanks Yan,

    You've been a bit quiet the past few days - been out shooting?

  14. #14

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    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Colin,

    Thanks for your care.
    It's getting quite busy when new semester is approaching, no much time to take pictures...

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    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by Yan Zhang View Post
    Colin,

    Thanks for your care.
    It's getting quite busy when new semester is approaching, no much time to take pictures...
    Sadly, I know the feeling

  16. #16

    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    I liked the shot except for one thing, I feel the frame got too much black on the left side , I would have cropped out a bit from the apartment's left section....Any comment Colin?

  17. #17

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    Re: Sunset Over the Dock of the Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by ajith.rajeswari View Post
    I liked the shot except for one thing, I feel the frame got too much black on the left side , I would have cropped out a bit from the apartment's left section....Any comment Colin?
    I'll probably shoot it again tonight (3rd night in a row) now that the weather is back to normal (ie "not a cloud in the sky" - pretty typical for Nelson . After reviewing the shots from my first attempt I figured out that it was probably best to have the building take up one third (horizontally) - the pier the middle third and "the cut" the final third on the right ("the cut" is a cut in a 10 mile boulderbank that runs past, to let ships in to the port). Vertically the three elements above cover the centre 1/3 - the shadows of above cover the bottom 1/3 and the sky covers the top third, so I was hoping that optimal composition/placement might compensate for a slightly weak scene.

    Keep in mind also that I need to leave enough to be wrapped around the edge when stretched over a wooden frame (canvas print), and still have a pleasing composition - with 21MP to play with its better to err on the side of caution - I can crop up to a full 1/2 of the image and still have plenty to spare if need be

    PS: It's not appartments to the left - it's the building that the pier is part of - initially I didn't want too much of it there, but I'm starting to think it makes a good anchor for the shot - especially as the structure underneath it fit in well with the piles holding up the pier.

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