Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Best Light ~ Telephoto Tuesday!

"Come Sail Away"
(1/125 sec @ F/5.6, ISO 200, 55mm fl, 55-200mm Nikkor Telephoto Zoom VR)

It's about this particular time of year that I find myself longing to escape. I want to toss aside the bulky winter gear and head somewhere tropical. You too? Every time I look at this scene I feel all warm and toasty, and can almost hear the water lapping the pier. The thing is, for this shot, I hadn't even left home.

I took this last August (ahhhh remember warm August nights?) down at the Bayfront Park. A good friend and I had been enjoying the evening, watching Scottish Country dancing on the promenade and I turned and saw the light. Most arguably the best time of the day to photograph is from when the sun begins to set, till about half an hour after... and this is why. Beautiful color abounds. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a sailboat leaving the harbour for a short jaunt on that calm night, and I started shooting long before she came into the frame so I could fine tune my exposure and have it near ready for when the boat sailed into the shot. The light was changing rapidly, and so I dialed in a faster ISO so my sailboat wouldn't be fuzzy, and kept the shutter speed above 1/100 of a second. I waited till the sailboat hit the sweet spot within the frame, and got the shot.

The other aspect of shooting into the light from the setting sun is that you can get fabulous silhouettes. If you haven't tried this yet, it's a lot of fun. It can be while the sun is sitting above the horizon, or as it's gone down. Meter off the light, not your subject and work quickly since the light will change rapidly once the sun hits the horizon. I had my telephoto in use at the time, and had no time to switch it out, so I kept it on it's widest focal length and composed. In editing I used the color balance tool in the layer adjustment menu to mute the tones that were too blue and dull and she was done. As always, I work in Corel's PaintShop Pro X3 and work from RAW files.

So, a little something to brighten the wintry day for me. I hope it did the same for you. And silhouettes can be taken any time of the year... so I guess I have no excuse, I should get out there this week once the sun comes back out and get something more current. Just walked into that one didn't I? Have a good one folks, and thanks for letting me ramble on!

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