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Shooting towards the Sun III

Shooting towards the Sun III
Photo Information
Copyright: George Veltchev (mwmod99) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 655 N: 3361] (14196)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-01-12
Categories: Seascape
Camera: Canon 40D, Canon 24 - 105 L F4 IS USM
Exposure: f/13.0
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-11-05 2:51
Viewed: 3351
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Very often shooting towards the Sun can be used to create dramatic images. However, this always making your work a bit more challenging. Getting the right exposition can be tricky and often difficult to record well the Highlights, mid range and the shadow details. Fortunately the Photoshop has some very useful tools to help with that challenges. One of those tools is the HDR or High dynamic range. To find it go to File>Automate>Merge to HDR. (HDR) images enable photographers to record a greater range of tonal detail than a given camera could capture in a single photo. This opens up a whole new set of lighting possibilities which one might have previously avoided—for purely technical reasons. The new "merge to HDR" feature of Photoshop allows the photographer to combine a series of bracketed exposures into a single image which encompasses the tonal detail of the entire series. There is no free lunch however; trying to broaden the tonal range will inevitably come at the expense of decreased contrast in some tones. Learning to use the merge to HDR feature in Photoshop can help you make the most of your dynamic range under tricky lighting—while still balancing this trade-off with contrast.
I would suggest only using HDR images when the scene's brightness distribution can no longer be easily blended using a graduated neutral density (GND) filter. This is because GND filters extend dynamic range while still maintaining local contrast. Scenes which are ideally suited for GND filters are those with simple lighting geometries, such as the linear blend from dark to light encountered commonly in landscape photography (corresponding to the relatively dark land transitioning into bright sky).

Since creating a HDR image requires capturing a series of identically-positioned exposures, a sturdy tripod is essential. Photoshop has a feature which attempts to align the images when the camera may have moved between shots, however best results are achieved when this is not relied upon.

Make sure to take at least three exposures, although five or more is recommended for optimum accuracy. More exposures allow the HDR algorithm to better approximate how your camera translates light into digital values (a.k.a. the digital sensor's response curve)-- creating a more even tonal distribution. The doorway example is best-suited with several intermediate exposures, in addition to the two shown previously.

It is essential that the darkest of these exposures includes no blown highlights in areas where you want to capture detail. The brightest exposure should show the darkest regions of the image with enough brightness that they are relatively noise-free and clearly visible. Each exposure should be separated by one to two stops, and these are ideally set by varying the shutter speed (as opposed to aperture or ISO speed). Recall that each "stop" refers to a doubling (+1 stop) or halving (-1 stop) of the light captured from an exposure.

Another disadvantage of HDR images: they require relatively static subject matter, due to the necessity of several separate exposures. My ocean sunset example would therefore not be well-suited for the HDR technique, as the waves would have moved significantly between each exposure.

Keep in mind that HDR images are extremely new-- particularly in the field of digital photography. Existing tools are therefore likely to improve significantly; there is not currently, and may never be, an automated single-step process which converts all HDR images into those which look pleasing on screen, or in a print. Good HDR conversions therefore require significant work and experimentation in order to achieve realistic and pleasing final images.

Thanks for reading, and happy experimenting!

joska, Dis. Ac., Pitoncle, paolo49, marius-secan, Luis52, ellis49, rommel has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To rommel: Erwinmwmod99 1 11-06 10:22
To FunkyMunky: Petermwmod99 1 11-06 00:15
To Black44: Warning!mwmod99 1 11-05 23:40
To lousat: Lucianomwmod99 1 11-05 23:34
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2010-11-05 3:17]

Hi George,
Excellent photo-composition, great lights and colors, very fine and sharp details, excellent composition and description too, TFS!

Hello George,

Very good composition with the sun right in the picture, the horizon on 1/3.
But this time you solved the problem from the sun.
By your giraffe pic, the sun burns an hole in the tree.
Well done my friend.


  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2010-11-05 5:41]

Hello George
Wonderful landscape...thanks for sharing

Ciao George. Magnificent spaces managment and best use of HDR absolutely perfect for colours and details.


Ciao George, fascinating sunset with fantastic light, superb exposure, very well done my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Bonjour George,
Belle composition dans une lumière bien maitrisée.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hello George,
beautiful image of sunset, details, light and sharpness perfect, very nice picture, regards, Paolo

Hello George,
Fantastic details and great composition.
Very nice capture with lovely natural colours and exceptional clarity.

Hi George,
as usually great landscape. I like landscapes a lot, particularly like this. Excellent light. Have a nice weekend,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-11-05 12:38]

Hello George,
You've chosen a perfect POV to take this photo. The composition is really fantstic. Splendid light and colours, also on the stones, rocks and water. Great sharpness and DOF.
Have a good weekend,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-11-05 14:59]
  • [+]

Hello George, I am an expert in HDR but with elaborate programs such Photomatix.Your picture does not seem very successful, partly because the subject is not suitable to make a HDR. The sun so white is very ugly and disturbing the whole vision, the HDR is best done with cloudy skies and homes, perhaps ruined, by avoiding plants and backlights.Have a nice weekend! Luciano.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2010-11-05 16:17]

Hola George.
No es facil lograr una bella imagen de un atardecer cuando se tiene el sol enfrente, sin embargo aqui se logra en una forma por demas espectacular, que le da un bello panorama y refleja fielmente el momento.
La iluminacion en las rocas resulta de maravilla por el buen manejo de la camara y flash.
Saludos Jorge.

Hola George

Bella imagen de este sol con la brisa de la playa y estas rocas de inicio de la foto. Muy bien tratada y de aspecto estupendo. Cuidado con el sol intenso puede estropear la cámara si no hay filtro.

Un saludo de Antonio

Hi George,
Very good composition of this landscape, hopefully it would be there!!
TFS & nice WE

Nice shot! I would have taken the picture when the sun was lower on the horizon, it would then have appeared red and not washed out.

Hi George,
a fine sescape picture from you.
I really lik ethe low POV, the light and the colors.
About: HDR and movements, you can so a s.k "fake" HDR when shooting RAW.
Three converting, +2, 0 and -2 and a good appz, it use to work prettty well mostley.
Well done, my friend.
Have a nice weekend.

Hellow George,
Brilliantly balanced image from foreground to BG.Always difficult scenes to capture but thanx to your useful tip and advice I will surely try this.Good depth and excellent foreground detail.

nice light and scenery, greetings Ori

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