Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sunset on the Range

I have to admit that seeing Quyhn Le's photos over the last few days has inspired me to be a better photographer. I am normally somewhat lazy and take the shots of opportunity instead of seeking out the shots I really want. I think a lot of that comes from my profession of being a Private Investigator, the shots usually come to you instead of you going to them. It's a habit I need to break.

The wife and I went for a sunset park along the lake by our house and I took a few photos. You thought I was going to say something else didn't you? They frown on that kind of stuff here on federal land! :~)

I stayed for about an hour getting some shots as the sun went down and gave me different light and some different views. I even used the spot metering technique on these, spotting the water instead of the sky and I used a graduated ND filter to knock down some of the brightness in the sky.

Sunsets are something I really like to photograph, I don't know why,  I guess there is just something about the colors. These were all shot with the Tamron 18-250mm lens with a graduated ND filter covering the sky and the f stops ranged from f/16 to f/22. All were handheld.


  1. These are GREAT!

    A graduated neutral density filter is specialized, but is useful when it comes to digital SLR cameras.

    Here's why: your eyes have incredible dynamic range.

    If you standing on a rocky shore watching the sun go down, your eyes are able to see detail in both the shadows and the highlights.

    You digital SLR camera can't - it has a limited range from shadow to light.

    If you want to take a photo of the scene in front of you, you have to make a choice. If you correctly expose for the bright sunlight, anything in shade is going to be under-exposed .

    If you correctly expose the photo for the shade, the bright sunlit areas will turn pure white .

    A graduated neutral density filter solves this problem.

    The filter reduces half the light entering the lens, and lets the other half in at 100%.

    Rather than being split down the middle 50/50, the filter gradually blends from the side that blocks light to the side that lets it through.

    If you adjust the filter so that the bright part of the scene is blocked while the shadow area is not, your camera can capture the photo correctly.

  2. Thank you Quyhn Le! The grasshopper is slowly learning from the master.

    I have several neutral density filters for my different lenses and I like the graduated one for sunsets. I bought a split ND filter and used it some but the break in color at the split is dramatic and hard to use unless you are shooting a flat horizon like the ocean. The graduated filter works a lot better in most of my situations.

    I am going to try to use the spot metering technique more as I go and see what happens. I just have to remember what I'm doing!

  3. Ron, you have definately been paying attention!

    Planned shots have lots of merit plus most pleasing results!

    The shots of opportunity will always be with you just because of the nature of your ventures! To me those types of pics are just as important as the structured ones. The trick is to do both with results that are pleasing to ones self. If done that way others will certainly enjoy!

    Beautiful sunsets! You are starting to put that equipment and learned knowledge to work!

  4. Thanks Parker! I get lucky every once in a while!

    I will probably always be a little lazy in my shots until I'm retired and don't have to worry about earning a living. Stress plays a big part in "feeling" the shot. It's hard to get a good sunset picture if you can't relax and enjoy the sunset.

    Now you'll have to excuse me, I have to go buy a lottery ticket. LOL

  5. OK I'm impressed! Very niceset of pictures Ron. So does this mean I'm going to have to start buying ND filters just to keep up with everyone? Twist my rubber arm... LOL

  6. I've been playing with the ND filters for about a year now and like Quyhn Le said, they are a specialized filter but for something like a sunset or bright sky and land together, I love them!

    I'll twist your arm if you twist mine! I'm looking at another new lens, hopefully, soon, as long as the wife isn't paying too close attention to what I'm doing! LOL

    I finally got a new camera backpack last week so I will put up a review for you in a few days.


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