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Purple Skies

By abilou    
Trying to create a dramatic sunset with a cloudy water effect

Tags: Sunset Landscape Water Boat Clouds Purple Rock Stones Landscape and travel

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


BrianSS Plus
11 395 39 England
19 May 2012 7:18PM
I'm not sure where the point of focus is on this image as there appears to be nothing in sharp focus, also the horizon isn't straight.

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Davesumner Plus
11 28 300 Australia
23 May 2012 4:53AM
Hi Abi May,

Just read the description for your image and I can see what you were trying to create. I do like the line of rocks leading us into the image with the curve of the water and the boat you have managed quite a nice composition so well done there. However, the image just looks like it has a horrid overall purple colour cast rather than a dramatic sunset. The other problem is that there doesn't appear to be much in focus so the image is a bit soft and the shot is quite a bit underexposed the former being caused by your 8 second exposure time and the later by the evaluative metering. In this case I would suspect that the sun lighting the clouds has caused the camera to underexpose the rest of the image and something has fooled the camera into thinking that it needs to add a lot of blue to correct the light or you had white balance set onto Tungsten.

Your profile in EPZ says you are a beginner so the best advice is to join a camera club or enrol on a course and get someone to assist you into getting your camera off auto and take control of its operations. I don't want to put you off taking shots but with some help you will be able to get this shot right in camera and be really happy with your results. With a shot like this where your shutter speed is in seconds, you need to use a tripod or stand your camera on a rock. However, using f/22 with an 18mm (33mm on your camera) focal length isn't necessary and you could have used f/6.4 to get the same results which would have given you a much faster shutter speed and reduced the chances of a blurry shot. The reason is because different cameras, lenses, focal lengths, distance from subject and aperture settings all have an effect on depth of field (the amount that is in focus). So if you use a Canon 450D with a 18 - 55mm lens set at 18mm (33mm cropped sensor equivalent) with your subject at 10meters (the rocks), you would have had everything from 4.75mtrs in front of your lens to infinity in focus and because the aperture in the lens has been opened up the shutter speed will be increased to compensate and give you more control over camera shake etc.

I uploaded a mod where all I have done is adjust the white balance from 'As Shot' to 'Auto' in Adobe Camera RAW. This was just to show you how much of a colour cast there is.

I hope this helps and sorry if it is a bit overly complicated.

23 May 2012 4:00PM
I'm at university now and I took this photo when I was about 15 so I have learnt a lot more and am now a ton better I just wanted to see what people made of this image I took when I was younger Smile
SueEley Plus
11 279 96 Wales
23 May 2012 9:29PM
A good starting point! Grin

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