Today's Topic: Turn Around
All this month, we’ve been taking photos of the setting (or rising) sun. But we’ve ignored another great reason for taking photos at sunset – the ‘golden hour’ light that covers the world and makes for stunning photos. We’ll tackle that today!
Main Article - Turn Around!
Extra reading (if you have more time):
Article - The Golden Hour: A Magical Time For Every Photographer (Digital Photo Secrets)
Video - The Golden Hour - Video (Digital Photo Secrets)
Article - Golden Hour Photography: tips for making magical landscapes at dawn (Digital Camera World)
Article - The Golden Hour in Photography (Photography Mad)
Article - Golden Hour Calculator (Golden Hour)
Article - 5 Tips for Capturing The Magic of Golden Hour Photography (Light Stalking)
Article - How to Make Your Photos Magical (Photography Concentrate)
The soft warm light of the setting sun provides excellent lighting. Compose a shot of your favorite flower in your garden or park during the golden hour, Make sure you capture all the detail in the petals.
The warm golden hour lighting can add to the mood of your image. Take advantage of this and take a side lit outdoor portrait shot using the theme love and romance.
Take a low contrast soft image of your model walking away from the setting sun. Take time to make your model comfortable in front of the lens and capture him or her appearing to daydream.
Day 4 Professional Critiques - Bracketing
As part of the Dash, I'll be providing feedback on your photos by selecting three images per topic per stream and asking my pro photographers (who critique the images for Dash Assist) to provide some feedback. Over the entire Dash you'll see pro reviews of 24 photos. I'll be selecting some great images, and some not-so-great photos, so you can see why the great ones look great, and how to improve the rest.
How do you get YOUR image selected? Upload your image to Dash Insider within 3 days of the topic being released and I'll see it when I'm selecting the images to critique.
By Christina Moraal Sunset Day 4: Advanced Challenge. Lake at sunset taken at the small town of Monnickerdam in the Netherlands.
Critique by professional photographer Becki Robins:
Hi Christina, your sunset shot has some great components to it … in particular I like the way that the angle of the water has given us a vanishing point to follow, which makes the image seem big and three dimensional. I like the big sky too but I feel like you may have included too much sky and not enough foreground. Now I realize that everything is in silhouette in the foreground so changing camera angle wouldn’t have helped, what you needed was to orient your camera horizontally and zoom in a little, so you’re capturing more detail in the water and the sky just about the water, but not so much of the big blue above that. I do like those streaky clouds in the sky but they feel a little bit chaotic, so I think you could temper that somewhat by cropping some of them out. Keep the one that looks like a bird, though, in the center of the frame—that one is pretty cool.
The advanced challenge talked about combining images in post-processing but it doesn’t look like that’s what you did here—you do have some really great detail in the sky and in the water but your foreground is a silhouette—there’s nothing wrong with that approach but combining three shots in post-processing at varying exposures would have allowed you to capture detail in the sky/water as well as in the trees.
One final comment: your image looks a little soft at 100 percent so pay attention to your settings—I think you could have used a slower shutter speed in favor of a smaller aperture (larger f-number) in order to bring more of the details into focus. As a general rule you want to be focusing about 1/3rd of the way into the image in order to get the most depth of field—for this shot it looks like you locked focus on the sky instead, which led to some blurring in the foreground. It is a peaceful scene and I particularly like the way the sun is peeking out from behind those trees in the foreground, very pretty.
By Gloria Gathercole Well, I'm finally back at home after returning our Grandson to his Mom and Dad in Alberta. I did take photos while gone and this one was taken on their farm. I'm not sure it meets the challenge entirely, but I am just pleased that I used HDR for the second time. My camera does not have automatic Bracketing, so I manually set different exposures about 5 times to end up with this shot. Thought the images aligned well, but movement is obvious in the clouds. Glad to be back and will try to get caught up asap.
Critique by professional photographer Julia Harwood:
You have done a good job of bracketing this image, as you have commented yourself you have quite a bit of movement in the trees, If it was just in the trees in the distance it wouldn't matter as much but it is very noticeable in the trees framing the image. You also have some chromatic aberration which makes it more noticeable. If you had chosen a non moving foreground element it would work better. To get rid of the chromatic aberration look for the lens correction in your post processing software. If you have Photoshop then you can open it in that and then duplicate layer, ctrl+j and then go to filter>camera RAW filter. It is best to go to 100% to do this. Now go to the sixth icon under the histogram, click on the color tab and check the remove chromatic aberration box and then move to the purple slider, move it a little and then adjust the slider under this to remove the red around the leaves. Then move the green amount slider and adjust the green slider until any green fringing on the right hand tree is gone. You have said you used 5 images, in this case to minimize movement of trees and clouds I would only do 3, so not as much time has passed and therefore there will be less movement.
I really like the way you have used the trees to frame the image and the road makes a great leading line that leads us through to the sunset. it is good to have you back and look forward to seeing more of your images. If you have any questions, please ask.
By Alexandra Joyner Better late than never! One of my dogs watching the sunset - I had to hike/scramble through bushes up the hill so unfortunately no tripod.
I still can't get the AEB on y Canon EOS 1000D to work. I can find it on the menu. Then I press set and nothing happens? I over and under -exposed manually but can't merge the pics because each pic is slightly different.
Critique by professional photographer Cameron Mitchell:
You've taken a beautiful shot of a beautiful animal here and you've timed it well to catch the late afternoon sun as its low in the sky. That's given you the opportunity to make the most of the colours in the sky as well as the soft light that's filling all the ins and outs of the grasses so there's very little shade or over exposure.
I like the composition with the dog's neck spanning almost from one intersection to the other to follow the rule of thirds as it looks off into the space you've left in front of him or her. It also works well as a foreground element to help give the impression that you're in a wide open space.
The downside to your timing is of course the lack of light but you've covered that well by bumping up the ISO. It's not something that's a good idea as a routine but in cases like this it's unavoidable so other tactics can be brought into play. Noise reducing software is good and really worth a try, it won't fix things completely but it's going to go a long way towards reducing that graininess.
If you venture up the hill again it's worth remembering all the rules of composition you've used here but trying to include a little more of the surroundings, just to enhance the feel of space. Try getting the camera lower to the ground so there's more of the dog outlined against the sky; it makes it a more challenging shot but equally a more striking one with such a large dog.
Nice work Alexandra, a good composition and a well set camera.
I'll send your next topic "Next Level" on 27 August.
Are you overwhelmed with all this new content I'm sending you? Don't be! You don't need to complete everything right away. To break things down into manageable chunks, I've written a checklist showing you what to do each day, and what you can skip.
For more general information about the Dash, see the Getting Started document.
If you haven't done so already, I recommend you get involved with Dash Insider - our private community. See your email for the password to access this system, and I have created a few videos showing you how to login and navigate the site.
How to Upload Your Photo
See the third video on the Dash Insider Login Tutorials page for a rundown on how to upload.
Receiving A Great Critique
See the separate post on giving and receiving feedback for help on soliciting great feedback on your images.