Tag Archives: sunset

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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La Jolla Sunsets

La Jolla Sunsets from Jalanlee on Vimeo.

Vacation is over – back to work!

But the memories persist.

A warm beach, God’s paintbrush splashing colors you can only imagine!

Is Winter over yet!

 

 

 

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Sunset in Neenah

sunset-in-neenah-11

The mild Fall weather has given us some beautiful days – and beautiful sunsets!

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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

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Another Sunset

Sara at SunsetAnother sunset picture.  The light was so beautiful and made everything so special.

When you look around the world it is so easy to worry about the future – the news is all bad news!  But, if you step away you see that there is so much beauty in the world.  Yes, the news is bad, but it has always been bad!  Always some crisis or flood or war or law and order issue.  We live in this world and and we care so we want thing to be better.  That is a good thing and we should never stop caring. But we should also not let all the bad blind us to all the love and beauty.  In the end the beauty will win out; the bad will fade and all that will be left is the joy and the love.  If we endure to that time we will be there too!

This photo was a challenge!  Have to balance the relatively bright sky with the dark areas.  Too far away for fill flash to be effective so I set everything in manual and did a 3-stop bracket.  As luck would have it this was the middle shot – so I got it right!   Minimal processing with Topaz Clarity to bring out some of the sky details.

Canon 5d Mk III | 24-105 f/4 L  |  1/80s at f/5.0

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Another Sunset

Sunset Over The Fox River

Another beautiful sunset in Neenah.  This is from the Friendship trial on the Fox River.  A cold front was moving in and created beautiful clouds, colors and light.  This is a composite of 10 photos stitched together in Photoshop CS6.  The challenge here was to keep the ISO down to prevent noise while getting a low blue shutter speed and sufficient depth of field.

Canon 5d MkIII | Canon 24-105 f/4 L | 24mm | 1/25s at f/6.3

 

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Top of The World

Sunset on Top The World

Sunset in beautiful downtown Neenah!

Canon 5d MkIII | Canon 24-105 f/4 L | 105mm | 1/60s at f/5.6

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A Busy Beautiful Day

Rolling Sky

Busy day – busy week.  It seems like Summer has just been, so far, just a whirlwind of activity!

I feel blessed that so much is in my life! I also feel a bit overwhelmed that so much is in my life!

Yesterday was a wonderful day.  Between storms I had a shoot with an old friend and a new friend (getting ready for my photo class this Fall).  It was hot and muggy but it was also so much fun working together.  While I was winding down my wife noticed the sunset.  Like a shot I was out the door and heading for my favorite local “sunset” spots.  I caught some wonderful sunset pictures! What a blessing to have so much beauty surrounding us!

The picture above is in the Town of Neenah.  While the orange sky was interesting I also think this screams out “black and white” with the dynamic range and contrast!

Canon 5d MkIII | Canon 24-105 f/4 | 24mm | 1/80sec at f/9.0

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Out for a Walk

Out for a Walk

My neighbors out for a walk on the first night of May.  You see them, don’t you?  Dead center at the bottom of the frame.

I did not see them when I took this either – too busy enjoying the glory of a beautiful sunset.   Life is like that sometimes.  You look at one thing and miss another.  That is the joy, and the problem with photographs.  You capture a moment in time it all its detail and beauty and imperfection.  You also create an image that might interfere with your memory.  I only remember the sunet but there were people there too.  This is why I never want to watch my wedding video.  My memories are so wonderful that I worry the stark reality of the video will be different.  Maybe better but I don’t want to take that chance; I want my memories!

This shot was taken with exposure bracketing.  I used 5 frames +/- 3 stops to get all the highlight and shadow detail.  I combined the frames in photoshop and adjusted the black and white settings to get a more natural exposure range.

Canon 5d MkIII | Canon 24-105 f/4 L | 50mm | 1/200 to 1/50 sec at f/5.6

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Sunset on The Savannah River

Heading to Savannah (Sunset)

Sunset as a trucker is heading for Georgia over the Savannah River.  Traveling again and spent the week “down South” where it was warm, sunny and a bit wet.  Missed the snow and cold in Wisconsin – will Winter never end?!?

I love spending time in Savannah, especially on the river.  Lots of interesting people and things to see (more posts this week).  I think the river is my favorite.  Ships go by on their way to the open ocean and I wonder where they are going and what they are carrying.  I think it is romantic!  Part of me has always wanted to go to sea on a ship and sail the world.  Of course, if I ever did it I would probably find it is not as romantic as it seems.  Days filled with work and monotony and the time in port is too short to see anything.

Oh well, I can always have the dream…

Taken with my Panasonic Lumix LX7 in the 16X9 format.  The LX7 is an interesting camera in that it uses different areas of the sensor to capture different sized pictures.  No digital stretch or squeeze or cropping to get the picture you want.  I took this shot in manual mode to keep the ISO and the noise down.  Camera held on a piling to keep it steady.  I also bracketed  +/- 1 1/3 stop to make sure I got the right exposure; the camera can be easily fooled by the relatively bright sky next to the dark land.

Panasonic Lumix LX7 | 17.7mm | 1/200 s @ f/4.0

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