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C'mon Sun!

Posted by
Barbara Kile (Ft. Worth, United States) on 11 March 2010 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

As the emphasis shifts to the sky from the landscape, challenges arise as one tries to capture this range of light. I took several exposures and chose not to use Photomatix Details Enhancer - which did not render the image as I wanted. I used Exposure Fusion - with conservative adjustments and pretty much finished the image with Nik's Viveza2. Man, I love Viveza2!

This was a challenge to capture and I didn't dare to capture the sun at a higher position as this, as the landscape would have been rendered totally dark. This position of the sun left me with some options for a fairly 'natural' look, with the contrast of the 'cool' shadows and their colors and the 'warm' colors of the sky.

I love the color captured in the clouds, but not nearly to the extent of the post-sunrise image, where the color bathes the entire cloud cover. Next: the warm light bathes the landscape and cloudscape.

NIKON D300 F/11.0 ISO 200 40 mm

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For anyone interested, my recent work is now on my WEBSITE: http://www.barbarakilephoto.com/

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Dulcie from Danville, CA, United States

Yes, a challenging shot and you met the challenge beautifully !!! Bravo.

11 Mar 2010 6:16am

MK from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

WOW, Beautiful colors n its not overdone like some of sunrises i saw. This was what i shud bahe done, I shud have taken shots from the opposite side of the crater.

11 Mar 2010 7:11am

Tomas Turecek from Czech Republic

You are still tempting us and persuading us how beautiful it was to be there :) Another great shot. It must have been simply awesome to stand there and watch the sun rise. It gives an impression that you are on the same elevation level as the sun. Btw, one minor nit - it seems that you over sharpened the image which caused the white line bordering the mountains. Nothing dramatic but noticeable.

11 Mar 2010 7:11am

Nazzareno from Rome, Italy

A magnificent point of view for a photo beautiful and evocative

11 Mar 2010 7:33am

António Pires from Lisbon, Portugal

Beautiful colours!

11 Mar 2010 7:25pm

Larry Lefever from Lititz, United States

Beautiful! It's such a treat to be above the clouds and you've captured it quite well.

11 Mar 2010 7:58pm

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, United States

this is beautiful....seems to me, shooting a multiple exposure hdr type thing would have taken care of shooting when the sun got higher......something to think about, no?

11 Mar 2010 11:49pm

@Susan: Thanks, Susan. I shot several exposures and Details Enhancer didn't render the image to my liking. (Happens occasionally) So, I used Exposure Fusion, also by Photomatix. I had 9 images and even ran some through Camera Raw a 2nd time to tweak exposures and ended up using 5 images I think. Once the sun emerges, you've got probably 9-10 stops of light. The histogram for the sun is still slightly clipped for highlights, although most wouldn't notice. I tried to keep the shadows as they naturally existed, but just opened them up with Viveza2 instead. :-)

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

Superb. You have the best tools :))

12 Mar 2010 12:50am

Dwight Morita from Honolulu, United States

Very nice treatment of a very difficult dynamic range. Have you used split-neutral density filters in your photography? I've learned that the sun in Hawaii tends to have a brilliance at sunrise that requires the use of both hard split and reverse split NDs. For whatever reason, the sunsets present less of a problem. Enjoying your series on Haleakala very much ... and your website carries excellent images!

12 Mar 2010 1:32am

@Dwight Morita: Thank you, Dwight! Yeah, call me crazy - I used to use the split grads - but for the limited landscapes I shoot, opt for multiple exposures. I do landscapes mostly when I travel - and limit my filters to 3 Singh Rays, the grad not being one of those. (feel the 'purists' cringe!) lol I should have gotten your advice BEFORE going to the islands!

Bishop from Houston, United States

i love this perfectly captured image... and it is so interesting to see the sunlight on the foreground objects. :)

12 Mar 2010 1:43am

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

lovely composition and the final light and details have come out very well balanced with a natural look and feel! i like the layered look of this scene - very nicely captured and processed!

12 Mar 2010 2:23am

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

And there it is! (Now I am singing "Here Comes the Sun") Wonderful job, and thanks for letting us know what your thought were as you were shooting, it is great to learn!

12 Mar 2010 4:00am

@Tracy: LOL. thanks, Tracy!

Philippe from Pertuis, France

superbe sun !!!!

12 Mar 2010 7:06pm

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

As soon I as saw this I though "Haleakala". I remember getting up soooo early, driving up in the dark, and thinking that I didn't go to Hawaii to freeze. And then there it was! Lovely shot of this special place. Mine was back in film days, and not very exciting photos. Well done!

12 Mar 2010 11:11pm

@B. Thomas: Cool that you've been there too! Yes, it was cold. Thankfully, the wind was not blowing or we would have frozen! Thanks Barbara for stopping by!

Self-Indulgence from Chicagoland, United States

You lost a layer [teasing]. This is stunning Barbara. You are a superb landscape photographer! You really do know how to compose!

12 Mar 2010 11:37pm

@Self-Indulgence: Thanks for the compliment - I do more flowers than landscapes. :-)

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

Barbara, I love the color of the sun coming up over the clouds. You must have been at altitude. Do you ever use a GND for this type of shot?

13 Mar 2010 1:48am

@Julie Brown: Thanks, Julie. I only do landscapes when traveling - and just end up doing multiple exposures. I would be interested to see how 5 stops of GND would compare to this. I don't know, but just curious!

Steve from Camdenton, United States

I'm enjoying this series! Indeed a superb shot with the tricky lighting.

13 Mar 2010 6:06am

Gary Hart from California, United States

Beautiful scene. I love the distinct layers of color and texture.

14 Mar 2010 2:53pm

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

For this image did you combine 5 exposures? What software do you use?
I just got a Singh-Ray 3-stop soft edge GND recommended by Don Smith. I haven't tried it yet but will be using it during his Big Sur Workshop at the end of the month.

14 Mar 2010 3:05pm

@Julie Brown: Hi, Julie: I use Photomatix, & that program provides several ways to 'tonemap' the image. For this one, Exposure Fusion worked the best, but I still kept the results on the conservative side. Yeah, if I was going to use a grad again, I'd get a 3-stop, but this scene would have taken a 2 stop & a 3 stop. (I use Singh Ray filters: polarizer, vari-ND, and a Soft Ray.) With the 3 stop, you could come closer, but still take at least 3 exposures and blend them - as long as you don't touch either end of the histogram. When I take lots of multiple exposures of a scene like this, I do it manually and look at the histogram after each shot. You can shoot 1 stop differences, but people feel perhaps 2 stops between shots is best. If it takes 9 shots at one stop apart, so be it! I take a picture of my hand held up in front of the lens between a series of shots so I can tell later what images go together. :-)

Florence from Paris, France

You've achieved an excellent processing here Barbara, using filters at their best. Colors and lights are enhanced without beeing distorted... as a result, it really creates a nice and natural setting. Bravo.

14 Mar 2010 6:24pm

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

Such a feeling of suspense...the expectation in the air and the <world stood still> feeling are very well captured...

19 Mar 2010 6:58am

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

Thanks for explaining your process, Barbara. This gives me more to think about as I will be trying out my GND filter during Don Smith's Big Sur workshop at the end of the month.

20 Mar 2010 3:49pm

ISO 200
40 mm