Monday, June 12, 2006

Nisqually at Dawn


This photo was taken about fifteen minutes after the highway shot, at around 5:30am, in the Nisqually Basin just north of Olympia. I must say that the lighting truly is magnificent at that time of day. I was amazed by the soft colours that appear in the western sky. Especially considering the fiery colours that were burning in the east, as seen in the previous photo.

In his books, Freeman Patterson recommends that I overexpose by one or two f-stops when shooting at dawn. I tried that on a few photos, but for the most part I found that the sky was getting washed out. Am I doing something wrong, or is it just my camera? For this image, I actually underexposed at touch in order to capture the definition of the clouds. I know that means that the field and trees are a bit too dark, but I'm okay with that.

I have been attempting to present these photos without any Photoshop magic. Other than cropping, the last four pictures that I posted were untouched. I should mention that I used the blue colour filter that is built into my camera on the foggy barn/brain shot.

Canon PowerShot S2 IS, 15mm, f/8, 1/20 sec, ISO 50

14 Comments:

Blogger Dave MacIntyre said...

Great shot Tim...the clouds are great!

My personal goal is to never overexpose...underexposing can be effectively corrected in PS, but if the sensor gets too much light, the detail is simply gone. They rules might be different with film. I find that spot metering is effective when shooting bright backgounds too.

11:22 AM, June 12, 2006  
Anonymous Otto K. said...

Same here. When I was doing sunrises and sunsets recently, I usually erred on the side of underexposing a bit and then modifying if needed in ACR with the RAW file. It's a lovely scene. I really like the low fog and composition.

11:44 AM, June 12, 2006  
Blogger Laurie said...

I usually try different exposures until I find the one that works best. If it is slightly overexposed, it is easier to correct with levels than if it is more than just a little underexposed. I find that shots that are more than just a tiny bit underexposed get noisy when you try to lighten them in Photoshop. I was told never to use brightness/contrast to lighten or darken photos, always use levels. That's not a problem for me since levels is one of the few things that I do as far as post processing goes.

I like the way the tops of the clouds glow slightly pastel pink. I also love the low lying fog in the distance. This is a very serene shot. I can almost smell the sweet early morning air.

Thanks for catching up with my recent shots. I did miss you while you were away. I was happy to see your name pop-up in email notification from Capture This.

About the Bat Mitzvah shoot I did; I was really nervous leading up to it, but surprisingly calm when I was doing it. I think because I had a blast doing it and there was a wonderful videographer/photographer named Pat who really guided me through the important moments of the event. I basically stuck to his right shoulder during the ceremonial moments that needed to be captured. I didn't miss any or mess any of them up. I did learn a few things that I should do next time if ever the opportunity arrives, not about the technical stuff, but about how to deal with the subjects. For example, next time I will take the child aside and go over a few things before they do the candles. The child has a sheet of paper where they wrote sentiments they want to express about the special people they wanted to come and light each one of the 13 candles, I have to tell them that after they read each sentiment and are getting the photo done they should lower the paper below the table so it's completely out of the shot. But since I hadn't shot one of these before, I didn't think of it, and the videographer didn't mention it either, so I guess it's not that big of a deal. The mom wasn't upset about it at all. I also learned that it's OK to be assertive and tell people exactly how you want them to be positioned for the group shots and table shots and other necessary posed shots. The table shots were actually the hardest since it was difficult to find a table where all the guests were actually there at the same time. Plus I really didn't like interrupting their meal to make them stand up and move around for the shots. But everyone was very nice and understanding.

The family was wonderful to me. They were more than supportive and that really helped to take the pressure off.

I ended up having one of the best days I've had in a long time.

Oh look, I wrote another novel. I apologize.

I did really well with all the portraits as well. I was working on them all day today, cropping and cloning (I love cloning) and adjusting levels, other than that, the shots don't seem to need much in the way of post processing.

7:44 PM, June 12, 2006  
Blogger micki said...

I've never heard of overexposing for a sunrise. I can't imagine a situation where that would work out better.

I love the delicate colors in today's image. Truly a wonderful time of day to be out shooting.

10:30 PM, June 12, 2006  
Blogger Tony said...

this is a great pic, and has a real painterly quality to it... this is helped by the well thought out composition, this is a great landscape photo. But getting to a shoot early has its rewards..

:o)
T

10:53 PM, June 12, 2006  
Anonymous Sola Labinjo said...

Nice capture of the people in the balcony, brilliant composition. Well done

12:45 AM, June 13, 2006  
Anonymous david said...

I always love the light at dawn! this image is very nice..cheers :)

2:22 AM, June 13, 2006  
Anonymous NoWords said...

such a fine exposure here, well done!

5:39 AM, June 13, 2006  
Blogger Stardog Champion said...

At first, I thought this was just OK. But after looking at it for a few seconds it really started to grow on me. It's subtle, with nice delicate colours. Great work!

6:00 AM, June 13, 2006  
Anonymous david said...

very nice, softly lit landscape.

7:05 AM, June 13, 2006  
Anonymous attah said...

very subtle shot and is certaily a grower. Was thinking I'd prefer stronger colours, but actually like your take on it.

8:52 AM, June 13, 2006  
Blogger Azhar said...

Bit too dull for me, I mean I'm liking how you captured it, but I wish this scene had the vividness of the last one.
GREAT SHOT!!!

9:23 AM, June 13, 2006  
Blogger Ptelea said...

I photograph sunrises and sunsets almost exclusively. I almost always underexpose. That seems to be the only way to get the moody colors and details of the clouds. Yes, the rest of the image is dark but I like the contrast and outlines of that show up against the sky. I would love to have you take a look at my work!

I think this is a very good shot - this is how it looks to me - subtle cloud details and that hint of pink - you captured it well. Sunrise as a time sequence isn't all vivid - there is an ebb and flow to it.

9:37 PM, June 13, 2006  
Blogger Jasp said...

It's hard being critical sometimes but I looked and looked again at it. The clouds and colours in the clouds is really interesting but the lack of light is making the lower half look a little dull (in the literal sense). I have to admit being a little colour blind (!) so maybe I cannot see the image as it really is. Not sure about underexposing but read that slow speeds are best (and usually required anyway).

9:13 AM, June 20, 2006  

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