Back Modifications (4)
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Into the sun light

By mttmwilson
First time I have tried to take a shot with a bright sun in view... Didn't quite know how to correctly expose. Tried several exposures and had to play with the levels in Lightroom until I got the best out of the shot. I would be genuinely interested to know what you all think of this shot good or bad and what I could do next time.

Tags: Sun Landscape and travel Bright lights

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paulbroad 13 131 1293 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2016 3:36PM
I think you have done very well technically with the tonalrange well controlled. The choice of aportrait viewpoint with horizon right in the middle willannoy some, but it quit suites the composition in my opinion. The content is not terribly inspiring. It needs some kind of focal point to rest the eyes and give copsitional form.

mttmwilson 17 40 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2016 4:17PM
Thanks Paul,
I agree about the content not being inspiring! I liked the image because of the 'two halfs' sky and water( clouds and ripples). I normally stick to the thirds rules but in this case I wanted the sun and sun reflection in the shot with the aim of trying to correctly expose a shot with two very bright lights in it...

banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4237 Canada
25 Jan 2016 4:59PM
You did well as it is. Ideally this would be a shot for an ND grad filter, or a bracketed shot on a tripod.

Two mods uploaded that have the to and bottom processed separately to get closer to what a filter might do; mod2 is cropped and it works fine I think.

White balance was 4800k, so its warmed a little in both.


mttmwilson 17 40 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2016 5:07PM
Because I didn't see any colour I didn't think to warm the shot up a bit, it's made quite a difference. I like both versions, Thanks..

dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1847 England
25 Jan 2016 6:04PM
Mike -

Looking at your portfolio I found you'd posted a 'first attempt at HDR' picture, and it strikes me that it might be the right thing to try here.

However, you've opted for a straight shot, and it's worked really well, as Paul says. The high cloud has softened things just enough that your sensor has coped with everything except the orb of the sun - well worth juggling the exposure and Levels.

Did you shoot RAW, and did you tweak the highlights? I suspect you did, and that is absolutely the right approach.

I'm fascinated, because I've just (as in six hours ago) bought some HDR software, and will be playing with it over the next few weeks. All I need now is some bright sunlight to use it on! I shall watch your future posts here (I hope) and see if you find stuff out ahead of me!

Again picking up on Paul's comments, there is scope for a specific subject in here - but it would make a restful large print for the wall exactly as it is already!
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 769 England
28 Jan 2016 7:55PM
This has a full range of tones but most are medium grey or light grey. There's nothing that makes the image sing out, which is a shame as you've got a good scene.
My first mod boosts the contrast so the water actually looks as though it's reflecting the light. I treated both the land and the sky differently in terms of the amount of warmth added and Levels/Curves adjustments..
My second mod just changes the hue for a cold 'moonlight' effect (though moonlight is, in fact, very close to daylight in colour).

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