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Winter Sunset_7616

Creative photo using a water glass, water, and a winter sunset, done as in inversion

Creative photo using a water glass, water, and a winter sunset, done as in inversion
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1 Comment | Report
1Ernesto May 29, 2014
Great photo and I will now be on the road to make an inversion is that the same as cross processing?

Behind The Lens

The photo was taken at my home in Battle Creek Michigan off of the balcony which set about 12 feet in the air. It had trees and a pond behind it along with having the view of the winter sunset through the trees each day.
This was taken in the evening around 4:30 or 5 o'clock with a partly cloudy sky. I had done the initial set up earlier just as an experiment to see if it would work or not and waited until the sun was just at the right level through the trees. It had taken me a few days to wait for the sun to start to set in the right general area that I wanted before doing the set-up for the shot. This is where I find that one has to take time to observe the sun and the surroundings one is to use for shooting each day until all the elements are just right for you, or as near as possible to what you would like to have. This, I find, is where a photographer's patience comes in and is often tried but worth the extra effort and wait for just the right setting of elements.
I have found that for shots like this a winter sunset seems to work best unless there is a fairly cloudy sky during the warmer months of the year. Along with that I also find that evening light works much better as it seems a bit more intense than the early morning lighting, it ( morning light ) being much softer and warmer, rather than having the sharper colors of evening. I find that the lighting for a shot like this has to contain certain elements such as clouds, colors, and warmth. It should be somewhat of a low light situation but not dark, nor too bright. I believe for a shot similar to this one the sun has to be almost right at the horizon line, thus giving it the warm, glowing colors off of the clouds.
This was shot with a Canon 60-D, an 18-135MM 3.5 - 5.6 lens with lens hood. Other equipment used was a Manfroto tripod with a ball head mount, and a remote shutter switch to avoid camera shake. A large water goblet was used for the glass along with clear water for the liquid part of the shot. As to setting up the shot, I used a short 4 legged stool with a kitty litter box on top of that to rest the glass on for the correct height for the shot. No other lighting except for the sunset was used for this shot. Sometimes one has to improvise when setting up a shot and use what is available to add to equipment for height adjustment or shot level, thus the kitty litter box for added height.
I find that during some of the harsh winter months when outdoor shooting seems to slow down a bit one tends to want to be a bit creative and thus looks for ways to shoot inside or other areas if possible. I had been reading on inversions and found that they truly intrigued me and wanted to try to see if I could actually do one using whatever happened to be available for a background. When I saw how the sunset was during the winter I decided to try a sunset through a glass of water as an inversion to see what would work or not work. Here you see the results of a more or less experimental shot as well as a learning lesson for me.
As a usual rule I try to do as little post processing as possible with the exception of using the program that came with my Canon camera, Canon Digital Professional which I find works rather well on RAW files which I shoot in all the time. Most of the time I find that I try as much as possible to do in camera cropping thus saving me from doing so with an editor and losing resolution. Other than the first one that I use I tend to use Photoshop elements 11 mainly for cropping and a few touch ups here and there. For this shot only the Digital Professional was used.
In my camera bag
Taking into consideration that my camera bag looks more like a backpack than a camera bag it is usually a pretty heavy one to carry but that is what I like and am comfortable with. My main camera that I use Canon 60-D is always in there with an 18-35 MM lens on it, then of course there is the Canon 100 MMM 2.8 lens that is used for macro shots. Next is my Sigma 70-300 MM lens which can be switched to macro at the 200-300 level. I have two 18-55 MM lenses along with a Canon 75-250 MM lens, and then the filters that I use. Graduated Neutral Density, soft focus filter, polarizing filter, skylight filter. Along with that I have my Canon T-3! packed in there, two remote switches for shutter release, lens cleaner and cloths, and extra SD cards. Beyond that the miscellaneous equipment I carry with me is a water bottle ( always filled ) first aid kit, insect repellent, munchies, just in case it is needed for something to eat along the way. Maps of the area or trails if possible and spray bottle for misting spider webs if I can find them. Also extra camera batteries ( always good idea to have ).
For inversions I find that the hardest thing about doing them is the background for them as I have found that not everything fits and works with an inversion. This is where it takes patience and careful study of the backgrounds you are using before dong the shoot. Carefully look at the background you wish to use through the glass and water before setting up a shot and judge how it looks to you and think how it would look to others. It takes time and patience but choose your backgrounds carefully and watch your lighting for it. Evening sunset or very early morning light is probably the best times for doing inversions. Always make sure that your glass is extremely clean, no streaks, water spots, or other marks and abrasions on it and no cracks in it. Try different versions of a shot ie: vertical vs horizontal and take several shots using a time spaced sequence ie: 1 minute or more apart for different lighting. If you don't have all the right equipment to build up to a certain height you would like, try to carefully improvise with objects around you carefully so as not to damage your equipment. Most of all have patience.

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