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PhotoWalk 8 - Solent Sunset - 13th May 2008

Er... More Of A PhotoStandStill As I Capture a Nice Sunset Over Lee On Solent

Solent SunsetI was sitting in the Garden with my better half, enjoying a pleasant evening and letting my dinner digest, when I saw the sky start to change colour as the day began to wane.

Looking towards the Sun, I knew that this was one of those rare nights when we get a really nice Sunset on the South Coast, so I grabbed my camera and drove down to Lee-On-Solent, a pebbly beach about 5 minutes from where we live.

I didn't bother with the GPS tracker as I wasn't going to be moving that far (and to be honest I'd forgotten it...) because I quite liked the marker sticking out of the sea as part of the subject, so no Google Earth file for this one I'm afraid.

What made this evening special was the very high clouds reflecting the light, and the darker, denser clouds along the horizon - I knew the high, wispy clouds would come out great in HDR, and when the Sun started to dip behind the other clouds it really dimmed down so I could take direct photographs of it.

I regret not turning around and taking some shots of the colour's reflecting in the windows of the buildings, that'll have to be for next time!

Feel free to click-through to Flickr and leave comments / suggestions under my photos.

Nuclear Sun / Just Another Orbit
Nuclear Sun

Hand-held hdr, from 3 images. I tried to line up the horizon on the lower rule of thirds line, then get the Sun and the marker on the central vertical thirds, with a bit of beach for foreground interest.

I really like the way the sky turns from gold to silver - just showing you that if you see clouds in the sky, you'll get an interesting HDR.


Fall Of Jupiter
Fall Of Jupiter

Maximum (10x) zoom on my S5700 - the Sun was disappearing fast, and I wanted to capture it as it dimmed behind the clouds. If you compare this and the photo above you can see how far I was zoomed in, should have used a tripod to make the image less soft.

I added plenty of contrast and noise reduction in Photoshop t bring out the colours and reduce the speckles.


End Of Days
End of Days

This shot, and the one below, show that the low dynamic range light situation of a sunset (or sunrise) situation really play to any digital cameras strengths, allowing it almost see what the eye does.


Breathe The Moment
Breathe The Moment

These high clouds were very special - making that wonderful colour transition. Rule of thirds for horizon and Sun.


Solent Skies
Solent Skies

To see this properly you've got to click through to Flickr and look at the large version.

It's a hand-held HDR Panorama. I had a bit of trouble getting the horizon straight in Photoshop CS3, and had to squash the image, but a good first effort I think at this type of capture.


I wasn't expecting much of this quick dash to the coast, but I got some nice photographs. It proves four points - photograph in the right light, and it really improves your shots. Look for interesting clouds for great HDR's. Buy a decent tripod - I 'm sure I don't use my cheapo one because it's fiddly to set up (no QR plate), wobbles, and isn't very straight.

Finally you've got to be there to get the capture - if the light looks good, jump in the car and get shooting!

See you on Flickr!

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