Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Photo Carousel #5: "Molten Sunset"

"Molten Sunset"
This is the fifth entry in my Photo Carousel series.  I call it "Molten Sunset" because it looks to me like someone dumped out a bucket of sunlight in the center of the frame and it's spreading across the sky.

This was one of the most impressive sunsets that I've seen in quite some time.  The pictures that I took in the other direction behind me were even more impressive from a color perspective, but this shot had the dramatic clouds in it so this is the one I chose to post.

I had just finished hiking to the top of a local mountain with my daughter and everything started to slowly glow yellow and orange.  The glow was unusually intense in both its brightness and the depth of color.  Seeing the low and diverse clouds, I knew that we might be in for something special.

My goals for this photo were simple:
  1. Emphasize the clouds, especially the burning center section and the wispy one in the upper left corner.
  2. Get the photo composed and exposed correctly in the camera to minimize any degrading effects of post-processing later.  I knew this shot would push the sensor in the Canon S95 hard.
From a compositional perspective, I didn't want to let the distant mountain range go to total black at the bottom of the frame but I had no choice.  To me, this was an acceptable compromise in order to get the clouds exposed properly.  I composed the burning sun area a little off center to make the photo more interesting.

From the technical side, I used evaluative metering and bracketed the exposure at -1/3, metered, and +1/3 and picked the best shot.  I took many different scenes of this sunset and the -1/3 shots were always the best because the colors were more saturated.  White balance was set to 'Cloudy'.

I consider this image a nice success because (in my humble opinion) I satisfied my two goals above and walked away with a nice keeper.  At the same time, I enjoyed the time with my daughter as we shared these moments together watching a sunset that was memorable to me even after all of them that I've seen, and for her it was probably her first truly amazing sunset.

1 comment:

  1. John this is a beautiful photograph and I love the stories you write about each of your entries. I also like that you post such big versions on your site, most people only post small samples that are hard to evaluate.