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Sunrise Glow

When the sun gets high and the color leaves the clouds it is time to look sideways and capture the light glowing off things. Today with no one in the frame, but...
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When the sun gets high and the color leaves the clouds it is time to look sideways and capture the light glowing off things. Today with no one in the frame, but some disappearing foot prints and some clouds in the sky for drama as a bank of fog heading for shore (and soon engulfed me) lay on the water. And then it is time for a drink of coffee, sweets and to relax while others are just waking. A7s, Voigtlander 12 mm f-5.6 @ f-22, ISO 50, 5 images +-- 2 ev PP LR HDR Merge, LR, Nik Color Efex Pro.
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2 Comments | Report
Byronfairphotography PRO+
Byronfairphotography January 30, 2016
Very nice, Good luck.
CWphotos5 February 01, 2016
Love this reminds me of Jekyll Island, GA!

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Behind The Lens

Jekyll Island State Park, Georgia on the north ocean side on Driftwood Beach.
About 8:40 am during low tide on November 2, 2015. An unusually warm humid, muggy and sweaty morning giving a low misty lite cloudy start to the day. With sunglasses you could see the mist rise making clouds in the sky very quickly.
I had been out on the beach from 5:00 am to catch the blue hour shots and some planets rising and was gifted with some starry skies but a sea fog was coming into shore making a good sunrise mostly impossible. The sun had gotten above the fog and the normal glow off the clouds was gone. Wearing my sunglasses by now I saw the clouds to the north developing and the golden glow off the driftwood (which lasts maybe 15 minutes). So I got low trying to get the contrast between the golden wood and blue sky.
I was using a Sony A7s with a Voigtlander 12 mm f/5.6 mounted on a Manfrotto tripod.
When you are on driftwood beach you have to remember it is not just about a great sunrise but also looking to the sides afterwards for the golden colors off the bleached wood. After a long morning biking with my gear at different locations catching what I could I looked to my left saw the disappearing footprints of some kids that had been playing there earlier and thought about an article about wide angle lenses that stated " It is not about getting it all in but the angle of perspective that most never see". The challenge of the sun behind and to the right a little and not getting my shadow in the shot and getting low but still getting the foot prints with some depth to them and a fading golden hour glow and an advancing fog bank that would cover everything soon. It took three hurried attempts.
Yes I shoot raw/jpeg and do HDR multiple frames at different shutter speeds in aperture mode with this at five frames +/- 2 ev. I do HDR because no camera can capture what the eyes see in real time as it is lit my the natural light. With sunglasses I could see the whispers of clouds forming in the humid air and a fog bank and the bight sun gleaming off the wood but without it was just a very bright morning squinting. With wide angle lenses you do not use variable polarizers due to how wide the sky capture is. I just got upgraded to Lightroom 6 that has HDR merge so I used it instead of many others I use. First I try to keep it real, so I do adjustments in Lightroom then use Nik ColorEfex Pro from Google which has a polarizer in it and some contrast selections.
In my camera bag
Well due to environmental conditions I choose before hand. The A7s because it will let you do 3 to 5 frames @ +/- 1 ev to +/- 3 ev allowing to capture the moon surface structure as well as a well a lit foreground using HDR shutter manual mode a full 12 ev separation. I enjoy the 12 mm Voigtlander f/5.6 for Landscapes/Milky Way on the A7s because it gets more light in the darkness and little if no lens correction is needed and I use it the most. A 14 mm Rokinon f/2.8 for Milky Way, a Sony 30 mm f/2.8, Sony 24- 240 mm, Sony 16-35 mm also a selection of Canon FD lenses from my film days 24 mm f/1.4 to a 100-300 f/5.6 all dusted off when I got the A7s. Clear plastic bags for lens changing (after paying/learning to clean a sensor you don't want salty air inside your camera) also use to put a knee or two on when getting a low shot and a camera/lens clear raincoat to protect against the salt air (it can take an hour to clean salt and sand (blowing in the air) off your gear. Two or three pairs of sunglasses sometimes worn over each other (yes looking at live view directly into the sun will make you see spots ruining your morning views). An Ipad or some pad for looking at apps (PhotoPills, TPE, Tides, weather and sometimes using to take your shots) the power lasts way longer than your phone will ever last. A photographers vest to keep everything in order and at hand, better than laying a backpack down on the wet sand. Also wear rubber knee high boots, the surf and sand are cold even in the summer at 5 am. And some hornet spay (always carry), Why! First gators, aggressive critters after turtle eggs so on and so on but lastly aggressive beach walkers wanting your gear (it can happen) and you do not need a permit to carry like pepper spay (look it up "What is considered a weapon" in your state!) also good on bears. A check list on your wrist for camera settings for the shot/s you intend to take, 1st in big letters FOCUS on infinity or hyper (you can forget in MM or a manual lens). And when you get older and need glasses do not use progressive lenses use the bifocals everything is clearer at night distant (lights/stars) and near (camera settings/live view). Also Gary Fong color correction kit, instead of AWB, just put the white one over your lens and point toward where you will shot from or just lay the grey one next to your subject get your white balance set then capture, I'll do both captures (AWB and dialed in) and compare in post processing. And a bottle or two of Chia seed water for energy and blood sugar control (yes old and diabetic), a glucose level closest to 100 the clearer the vision (your eyeball lens changes shape with glucose level changes so a pancake breakfast/or candy bar can mess up your vision).
Know the Blue and Gold Hour times and just first watch and look around see the colors change minute by minute and keep your camera on the tripod after all others leave. Wear polarized sunglasses to see the clouds, the grains of sand and structure of wood. Capture what people see but forget because it happens so fast that second you capture the light that passed but keep it real and not over processed. Try as many different programs (that you can afford and collect over time). Also do jpeg along with raw sometimes the camera programmers get it right (scene selections not in a raw file) also help you keep it real looking color wise. Keep a tide chart for the area there are only 4 days sometimes twice a month for a low tide at sunrise put these on your calendar also low tide times for the monthly new moon days for dark skies over the ocean the first part of the year. Take your bike with a trailer for gear the reason I go out the evening before and pick about ten sites and run to each during the mornings blue hour then sunrise then the golden hour while other photographers just stand in one spot during only the sunrise and leave, out of four hours I am by myself for three hours. Many bring all their gear in a backpack and a tripod and camera in hand and may walk only 50 yards up or down the beach. But with a bike (big fat tires and 7 to 21 speed) and trailer you can cover a mile or two and be alone and one with the light. I have not found an app or site that shows the real cloud cover during the night so as long as it is not raining just go and see the view the sun may or may not be there but it is low tide and critters, shells and wood can be seen then not seen when the tide is high. Just remember no two mornings are the same rough high tides move the wood to different places (four super moons this year with super high and low tides), the clouds are never the same and sometimes you will get man made clouds from aircraft high up when nature has none of her own to offer. If you can find a friend (photographer) to go with at 5 am the better also!!! When going up and down the beach use the high ground so as not to leave your prints in the sand there maybe a photo op later! Lastly study, study the weather, tides, moon, sun and Milky Way just like reading the daily paper and also go out at ever opportunity to scout and observe places. PhotoPills has an AR mode that uses the Ipad camera so you can see months ahead the location and spot where the sun/moon/Milky Way will rise/set for any time of the year so map out your spots for the year put on your calendar with tides and moon phases sun/moon rise times with compass angles.When the weather is good you have to have a plan. So wish/pray/write a letter to Santa maybe a gift of good light will await you in your new day.

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