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October 9, 2010 / Steve

Day 282 – Sunset’s Rich Canvas

I spent some time getting my knees sandy tonight taking sunset pictures with a clear, cloudless sky. A five second exposure helped to smooth the action on the water a little. The sliver of moon seemed to be just the perfect little accent to make it extra special.

As a photographer, I often think I “captured” something special, but this beautiful sunset was going to happen whether I was there to see it or not. I just showed up a camera. 🙂

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10 Comments

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  1. Marco Fiori / Oct 10 2010 4:29 AM

    Breathtaking Steve.

  2. jennifer / Oct 10 2010 5:19 AM

    this is really cool the colors almost look unnatural don’t they?

  3. Sherrie / Oct 10 2010 6:41 AM

    Wow! Is this sunset digitally enhanced or is this the real way it looked? Either way it’s super…

  4. Bryan / Oct 10 2010 10:11 AM

    I love your long-exposure shots. I wonder if my camera will do that..

    • Steve / Oct 19 2010 1:18 PM

      If you can’t find a way to control shutter speed and ISO, then you can. You just need a tripod after that.

  5. Steve / Oct 10 2010 1:20 PM

    Thanks everyone! To answer the big question here – This photo was only minimally processed. I used some noise reduction to remove some of the graininess from a slightly higher than desired ISO, and I boosted contrast some – so the deepness of the colors is a little enhanced but only just slightly. It still very accurately represents what it looked like. Most of what would vary from reality would be on the water – and mostly due to the long exposure blur, not processing.

    When you do long exposures, the colors “burn into” the image more than usual which often creates extra richness in color. With shots like this I most often add a little extra contrast and/or saturation, mostly because what the camera cannot see what your eyes can.

    The funniest thing to me about sunset photos is that usually within a few minutes after the sun falls below the horizon, everyone is gone. However, the most special light occurs 15 to 20 minutes after that, particularly when there are high stratus clouds or no clouds at all – and also when you’re near a reflective surface like a wet beach or a lake. The catch is – you have to have a tripod or something to steady the camera because it’s too dark to hold the camera still for the slow shutter speed it requires.

    • Chris Udell / Oct 13 2010 7:31 AM

      Steve,

      What software are you using for your post processing? I am using Picasa (free), but am thinking about buying something with a little more capability…

      • Steve / Oct 19 2010 1:17 PM

        Hey Chris,

        I use Adobe Lightroom 3 for almost all of my post processing. It’s the best thing going for both organizing your photo collection and doing everything from downloading pictures from the camera to the final post processing. It’s not cheap though. If you don’t like the cost of Lightroom, check out Adobe Photoshop Elements. It’s also very capable software and also easier on the wallet.

  6. Sand Sock Girl / Oct 18 2010 5:08 AM

    This is the most beautiful sunset photo I’ve ever seen. Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂

    • Steve / Oct 19 2010 1:15 PM

      Wow, really? Thanks!

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