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Author Topic: Sunset shots while getting the foreground...  (Read 4055 times)
pwbrian
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« on: November 16, 2012, 04:34:45 PM »
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I've seen quite a few pictures where there's a sunset or something bright in the background yet the foreground is also bright and visible.  When I try and capture this I usually get a great sunset with everything in the foreground very dark to black.  I was wondering what the trick to this was.  Any tips would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Brian
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2012, 05:50:50 PM »
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One option is to use a graduated neutral density filter - http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-grads.shtml
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k bennett
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2012, 06:13:30 PM »
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The other option is to shoot two separate images, one exposed for the foreground and the other for the sunset, and combine them afterward.
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stamper
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2012, 02:48:06 AM »
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The other possibility is that the foreground has been lightened too much in post processing with respect to the original scene. I have seen a few examples on this site that - imo - were lightened too much. It is essentially a high contrast scene and a balance is needed to reflect reality?
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2012, 05:08:55 PM »
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Classic HDR technique will also give one options here.

Tony Jay
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jonathanlung
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2012, 12:23:21 AM »
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If the foreground is small (e.g., a person), then a fill-flash would work.
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pwbrian
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2012, 05:00:09 PM »
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Thanks for the tips.  I'll give these a try and see what I get. 
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l_d_allan
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2013, 06:43:53 PM »
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One option is to use a graduated neutral density filter[/url]
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Classic HDR technique  ... two separate images

A simpler approach with ACR/LR using software only. Results may be more than adequate for web uploads and small prints if the contrast isn't too extreme. GND filter and HDR have the potential for better results (especially with larger prints).

  • Use RAW. Lowest practical ISO, especially if tripod or other solid support. I use HTP on Canon (highlight tone priority) for greater dynamic range.
  • Test expose so the "blinkies" are just visible. Reduce exposure 1/3rd stop so no blinkies (other than sun if visible ... the sun will pretty much always blink).
  • Use RAW
  • Did I mention using RAW?
  • Open in ACR or LR. (haven't use PSE in quite a while, but similar approach to ACR might work)
  • After other pp adjustments, define an exposure gradient, perhaps of -2 stops to darken sky background.
  • Position the gradient to start just under the horizon, reaching into the sky partway
  • May have +2 exposure gradient to lighten the foreground so it isn't a silhouette
  • The lightening gradient can introduce minor or major noise to the dark foreground.
  • With ACR 7.x and LR4 use ProcessVersion-2012. Also "dial in" some NR for the +2 lightening gradient
  •                         .
  • Older PS books described an approach using a single RAW file, but opened twice in PS with "smart objects" and a light and dark version. With the big improvements in ACR/LR gradients and adjustment brushes, this seems obsolete, to me. Plus, you don't need to use PS layers/masking at all.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2013, 08:58:04 PM »
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Or use cameras with good dynamic range, like Pentax and Nikon.
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Slobodan

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KenKovak
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2013, 11:48:23 AM »
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Use Fill Flash, or is FG too far away?

Ken
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Ken Kovak
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stamper
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 04:33:47 AM »
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This is the first time that I have read about the possibility of fill flash on a sunset scene. For a start the flash will be at odds with the colouring of the sunset?
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2013, 04:55:40 AM »
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This is the first time that I have read about the possibility of fill flash on a sunset scene. For a start the flash will be at odds with the colouring of the sunset?

The only time I would use fill flash in this context is with a person in the near foreground.
As for the differences in the colour temperature between the afternoon light and the flash - it may or may not work, but a good result is definitely possible.
One is not trying to overpower the natural light with fill flash only subtly complement it.

Tony Jay
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2013, 08:08:45 AM »
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This is the first time that I have read about the possibility of fill flash on a sunset scene. For a start the flash will be at odds with the colouring of the sunset?

That's what a warming filter is for (for flash).

Here is an example (mine) of a flash on a sunset scene (though without a warming filter):

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=75737.0

« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 08:19:21 AM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

Slobodan

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l_d_allan
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2013, 09:30:09 AM »
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This is the first time that I have read about the possibility of fill flash on a sunset scene. For a start the flash will be at odds with the colouring of the sunset?

Interesting potential.

I suppose you could use ACR/LR "Adjustment Brush" and/or "Gradient" with some color in it to get the color in better balance. I've often done this with the performers on stage lit with spotlights at 2700K, and the audience lit with much different lighting (~ 4000K ... some from window light and others primarily lit with halogen?). I've got an ACR ColorPicker preset for Hue=24 and Saturation=78 that seems to work pretty well.
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