Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sunset Photography

Ever tried to take a photo of that fantastic sunset outside and totally missed it? Well that tends to be me usually but under some circumstances get my rear in gear and actually play with those knobby things on my camera that seem to cause changes to my photos!

Oh wait...those are my controls...I need to get on using those in a more efficient matter. Note that I use my knobs (as Emeril would say) early, and I use them often. But sometimes I disregard the best practices for setting up for specific shots.

I have to point out in advance I think, that these photos were mostly taken on the Aperture Priority mode that the D90 offers accompanied with matrix metering. That's right folks...I admit it...

My name is Mike....and I use Aperture Priority over Manual Mode

Ok, that isn't entirely true. I usually shoot manual but on this particular instance (part of the Lake Erie - Marblehead trip) I had just got up out of the car after 2 hours of driving and saw the sun setting over the old quarry across the street from the condo. Reminiscent of the old Flash comics, I dropped the luggage I was carrying and pick up the camera and threw it into Aperture Priority so that I wouldn't miss what would prove to be some pretty successful shots.

Don't get me wrong, I may not be the best person to take advice from but I do have some tips that I think would be helpful to my fellow photographers out there.

So, without even asking permission of the photography gods, I'd like to share how I got these photos of the sunset that, I think, are pretty successful.

As I said, in this particular case I put the camera into Aperture Priority, which to some photographers, is worse than death. Some will have you believe that manual is the only way to go. However, I believe there are some really good times to use this particular mode. Not only is it great for the rank amateur but it is also a good mode to let the photographer really release from needing to worry about exposure and worry about compositional things instead. I was able, in this instance, to use the method to allow me to concentrate more on working out the composition.

The combination of Matrix Metering and Aperture Priority is really the key for me for getting these kind of shots. It helps prevent from blowing out the sun and darkening the shadows too terribly much (which I ended up forcing down in Lightroom anyway but that's a separate matter).

But this isn't the whole story. I tried several formats, focal lengths, apertures and positions and got a unique variety of looks. After the I took the photos I passed them through Lightroom, amped up the color and gave them a little more punch. And voila! Fully finished sunset photos!

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Tallmadge, Ohio, United States
I'm Mike and I'm The Perpetual Hobbyist! I'm an avid home brewer, tinkerer, and traveler. Even though I work a 9-5, I always find time to indulge in my passions - even with a tight schedule. Join me as I make the most of my free time - learning and doing as many things as I can