Tag Archives: High Cliff

How to Photograph a Sunset – Part IV

I love sunsets!  There is just something so stirring about the end of the day.  It is almost magical for me.  Of course I also love sunrises.  I just don’t love getting up in time for the sunrise.

So, how do you capture a sunset?  First find a good place where you can see the sunset.  Then find out when the sunset is going to happen (https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/) and get there early enough .  I usually try and arrive 30-60 minutes early as sometimes you need time to find the best spot – also some nice pictures can be had before the sun hits it’s peak. Also plan on sticking around 30-60 minutes after sunset – the blue hour – because the light is just amazing.  

Gear – well anything will work but you do need a solid tripod or some sort of support.  Why?  well the light is dropping and you will need a longer exposure time if you are going to keep the ISO noise down in you pictures.  

So last night I decided that the sunset would be perfect with the nice clouds and all so keeping with my advice above I jumped in the car 45 minutes before sunset and raced to High Cliff State Park – which is 30 minutes away!  Don’t worry, I followed all posted speed limits, kind of, at least when I was stuck behind slow poke Jones!

I went up the cliff to my favorite spot – and the lake flies were enough to block the sun out!  So I raced to the lake shore where there was enough wind to keep them at bay!  I set up my tripod, grabbed my trusty Canon 5d mkIII and Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 lens.  Set the ISO to 100 in manual mode, set the aperture to 7.1 which I knew was a good depth of field but still very sharp.  I used the camera’s meter to set the shutter speed for 1/125 seconds.  I set the shutter button to 2 second delay – to make sure the camera stopped vibrating after I pushed the button.  I pushed the button and 2 seconds later I captured the picture above! 

350 shots later with a variety of lenses and exposures and I was done.  And my first shot (above) was probably the best of the night!

Below are a few more shots – see if you can figure out the focal lengths and exposure times…

 

 

 

 

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Max and Saurab at High Cliff

Max and Saurab at High Cliff Sunset

Site seeing with some friends from Grenoble, France.

We watched a beautiful sunset at High Cliff State Park and really enjoyed the colors.

This is a technically difficult picture to pull off for several reasons.  The first is the backlight from the sunset will fool your camera into making their faces really dark.  However, if you expose for their faces the sunset will be too bright and all the color will be lost.  The second is the high depth of field requires a small aperture which will drive the shutter speed down and the ISO up.  Low shutter speed – motion blur and the high ISO means noise.  I love my Panasonic LX7 camera but it is not low noise at high ISO.

So how to overcome, adapt, improvise?  Two solutions.  First you can bracket 3 shots and combine in Photoshop.  Essentially one picture gets the sunset right, one picture gets the guys right and one picture is in the middle.  The second solution is to add a bit of fill flash.  You set the in manual to expose for the sunset and you add some flash so the people are lit.

Can you guess which one I used?

 

Panasonic Lumix LX7 | 4.7mm | 1/100sec at f/5.6 ISO 80

Posted in Blog, Landscapes, Portrait Also tagged , , , , |