May 30, 2012

Magic of Light

Twilight is one of my favorite times to take photographs. It makes for spectacular landscape and city skyline photography. The best time is 20 to 45 minutes before sunrise or sunset. The optimum light does not last long. Because twilight is hard to predict I set up my tripod and camera prior to the actual sunrise or sunset and then capture the moment in 1 or 2 minute intervals within my camera. This approach requires sufficient battery power and flash card memory to keep shooting while closing in on the optimum light. The twilight effect also works on cloudy days and up to 30 plus seconds exposure times are not unusual. In Morning Bliss I used twilight before the sunrise to my advantage in Maine Acadia National Park. Arriving early enough to set up and find a suitable location was crucial. I then followed the aforementioned approach to close in on the optimal light and convey the wonderful New England outdoor experience of a beautiful  sunrise in my photograph. 
In this seacoast photography image I had set the aperture to f/11 and chose an ISO100 setting that provided me with a 10 second Exposure time. I used a graduated neutral density filter to overcome the high contrast of foreground and sky. During post processing I slightly adjusted contrast, lighting, and color saturation before sharpening and saving the jpeg image.  
To learn the magic of light, get up before sunrise ... and watch. - Ted Grant

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