Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bass Rocks as Sunrise

Often I will have a picture in mind before I go out for a shoot. Good Harbor and Bass Rocks are good places to shoot the morning sunrise because there are items there that add interest to the photo.

There was a cloud bank forming off shore which can be friend or foe when it comes to shooting a sunrise. It can do a couple of things. If the bank is long and narrow, it can allow the sun to rise below it and light up fiery red. If the bank is thick, the sunrise can fizzle.

When I arrived on the scene at 6:30, I was it didn't look too promising. Since I could watch the show from my car, I decided to stick it out.

This morning a third possibility presented itself. The cloud bank was far enough out where the sun came up that it allowed some yellows to develop as it rose over the clouds. I took my first frame at 7:09 and wrapped up the shoot at 7:19.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

These images are straight out of the camera. Tips? The picture that I wanted was a silhouette of the house with lots of popping colors. The wind was blowing pretty hard so a tripod would not help me steady the camera. No worries, using my 18-200mm zoom, I was shooting with shorter focal lengths. This gave me lots of depth of field and plenty of light at a moderate aperture. I have a spot meter mode on the camera. I metered off of the areas that I wanted to pop. In the case of the second picture, I put the spot meter on the thin cloud above the sun. This gave me the silhouette I wanted and kept the highlights from blowing out.


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14 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Well done! Beautiful capture of the sunrise.

A New England Life said...

Wow, really nice, Steve. Glad you could shoot from your car on this frigid morning too.

I had plans myself to shoot the sunrise this morning but all we had were clouds. Guess you were just south of them.

A New England Life said...

Btw, I can't imagine who is lucky enough, or wealthy enough, to live in that home. It's almost like a landmark itself!

Jenn Jilks said...

Thanks for the lessons!

Steve Borichevsky said...

Hey, thanks, Eileen.

You welcome Jenn. I hope that they will help some folks just starting out.

Oh no, Sharon, I had to get out in the weather to shoot. Talk about cold. The weather say 28F but it was still bone chillin'!

Yes, the cloud bank was forming just to the north of us. You would have been wise to stay in bed!

Mojo said...

You can't top sunrise over the ocean for splendor, that's for sure. Well, okay sunset over the ocean is right up there too. We're fortunate here in that we have a number of south-facing beaches which allow for both types of shots, but the one I posted today isn't one of those. All the same, it reminds me why it's worth getting up before dawn to catch it.

There's good reason they call those brief windows around sunrise and sunset the Golden Hours, and you've illustrated it perfectly here. I've found that it's more like a golden quarter-hour sandwiched among a couple of still-pretty-good-but-not-quite-golden quarter hours.

I wouldn't have thought of spot-metering on a hot spot like that I don't think. Normally when I'm using that feature it's in low light and I'm trying to get detail in a shadow area. So I'm doing exactly the opposite. That's one to file away for future use for sure.

Tabib said...

What a wonderful world!

Steve Borichevsky said...

Hi Mojo,
Just to follow up, on different days, I may use different techniques. Yesterday at Thacher Island, I was shooting with full frame metering and bracketed down by 1/3, 2/3 and 1 full stop. I will do this when the scene is not as complex and I want to saturate the colors of the sunrise.

Today, with the complexity of the frame (dark clouds to the north, highlights behind the house and the light levels coming up fast, I decided to meter on the tones I that wanted to punch through. The light levels were coming up very fast, but I wanted a good color saturation look without having to fool with the image in the editor. By spot metering on the highlights, I really darkened the picture to give the desired effect. The whole point of this study was to produce a silhouette shot.

If you look at my Thacher Island picture on the calendar cover, the one with the reds a blues, that was shot about 15 - 20 minutes before the sun came up. Since the wind wasn’t blowing, I stopped down the camera lens to get a long exposure, which softened out the water.

The cool thing is that digital film is CHEAP and I can use different techniques.

Roy said...

The longer you study these great images the more colours you can identify in them.

Chris Petrak said...

lovely photos, as always - thanks for your many kind comments on my blog - happy new year

Steve Borichevsky said...

Chris, your blog rocks, and that is my final word.

Hi Roy, It is enough to make me into a "morning person" to get shots like these. This does have an interesting palate.

TonyC said...

Great pics Steve - hmmm I always leave my camera on centre weighted metering - i'll have to give spot metering a try Happy New Year!!

2sweetnsaxy said...

Oh, my! These are stunning. I especially like that 2nd shot. Wow!

Eve said...

Just beautiful and thanks for the great tips Steve!

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