After the sun has set…

wordpress In my previous blog post, I wrote about the “bad” time of day, when the light is harsh and the shadows small and close to the subject.

There is a time of day overlooked only because it doesn’t “look” as nice as before sunset and after sunrise. This is always a special time for me because like infrared, it’s hard to predict what the camera will record.

Our eyes and brain work together to make things appear as if viewed in daylight. Have you ever photographed someone under incandescent or fluorescent light only to see ghastly colors? This is an example of your brain taking the information the eye relays from the two light sources and trying to make them look as if they were lit by daylight.

The film and ccds are unable to interpret the light for us. They record pretty much what they see.

The same thing happens during the special time after sunset. Although the colors might look spectacular or not, you can never be sure how they will be recorded until you shoot them.

The sky in this photograph is pretty much straight from the camera with very little color correction or darkening. Hue and saturation were reduced rather than increased to get this effect as I found the colors too bright for my tastes.

I exposed three images, -3, 0 and +3 but only used the -3 to keep the sky detail and the normal exposure. The over exposed image had too much detail. I didn’t want to be able to see into the shadows.  Luckily this evening was one of the rare times when there was nary a breeze. During the long exposures needed at this time, object movement is often a problem.  I sometimes wait for a moment or two until the wind dies down and snap my pics. This time it wasn’t necessary.

Next time you’re out shooting sunsets, stay a little longer and snap away, even if it doesn’t look good to the eye. You never know what pleasant surprises await you.

Happy shooting,


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~ by Dan Jurak on July 27, 2009.

One Response to “After the sun has set…”

  1. The first hour (or two – in summer) after sunset is my very favorite time to shoot. I don’t do it often, but each time I do I always question why I don’t go more often.

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