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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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09.14.10         photography  

Non-HDR Sunset Shots


Things on Maui are going good. Staying in a hotel (ridiculously expensive) while looking for apartments or Ohana units to rent, it is kind of a pain, but a necessary evil I suppose. Most of my specialty camera gear (ND filters, etc) still hasn't arrived, but I am going to the beach nearly everyday to think, read, work on the tan or take pictures. It's so wonderful being here. I love the smell of Maui in the morning- it is so distinct and just delicious. Yes...the smell. I have limited internet connection for now, but will continue to post when I can. I am very excited to be here and have every intention of keeping you posted on how things develop.

I know I've been posting a lot about HDR recently- but one question I've been wondering about is what is the most dynamic range you can squeeze out of a single image (non-HDR) when shooting into the sunset. Layered HDR shots dont really work because of the moving waves, so your next option is to take 3 images and mask out parts of each. It typically means a lot of processing and often sloppy looking images.

Single shots are also tricky. The most typical result is completely blowing out the sun, (or the sky is completely white, which to me personally is something I am not crazy about). I like seeing some of the shape of the sun in landscape shots, which means you have to use a fast shutter speed, this results in very dark shadows.

While I know this image isn't great, it is a good start. I mostly exposed for the sun, and brought in much of the shadows with "Fill Light" in RAW. I believe this is about as much as you can squeeze out of a single RAW without using the gradient tool. I was trying to get many "earthly" elements in there, Sand, Water, Rock, Sky, Clouds, Sun. I am convinced great sunset shots depend almost entirely on the cloud formations when they are taken- sometimes they co-operate, sometimes not. The good part is, I can always try again tomorrow. :)

Canon 5Dii, 24-70 2.8L Lens, 1/1250, f8, ISO 50

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