Copper Mountain, ColoradoCopper Mountain, Colorado

Lofoten Scenes: Sunsets

May 30, 2017

Sunsets are always awesome to see, especially in foreign places with new backdrops.  Photographing them is a different story.  In general it usually doesn't work for me pointing the camera straight at the sun and clicking away.  Hurts the eyes, and the camera sensor doesn't really have a clue what to do.  I have some Lee Filters that I've played with, but adding additional layers of glass or resin in front of the glass in your lens tends to cause lens flare and affects the sharpness of the picture.  With that in mind, I ended up taking advantage of my digital camera's auto-bracketing feature and lots of memory cards.

Started with the +2 exposure to get the foreground exposed correctly.  Obviously the sun was blown out completely in this one.

I could see some of the blues in the sky around the edges of the standard exposure, so I blended some of it into my base Photoshop file.

Finally I blended some of the -2 exposure into my my sky to get the look of the sunset that I wanted.

Sunsets over Haukland Beach, Lofoten Islands, NorwaySunsets over Haukland Beach, Lofoten Islands, NorwayBest sunset of the trip. Clear skies and no snow while the sun was setting.

Final edit is with a correctly exposed sky blended into a better exposed foreground.  I think it still looks natural and not overly "processed" in PS.

While, I still have a lot of practice to do with blending exposures into Photoshop, I do like the technique and the setup.  I don't have to mess around with filters while I'm trying to get the shot in the short timeframe the sun goes down, and as long as I take enough exposure brackets, I will always have enough raw files to work with during post processing.  I still like the way filters get you closer to your final edit that you're probably looking for, which helps to reduce the time playing around in Photoshop, so those will still be in my camera bag while I travel, but so much can be done in Photoshop that I'm excited to continue practicing.

Sunsets over Haukland Beach, Lofoten Islands, NorwaySunsets over Haukland Beach, Lofoten Islands, NorwayLandscape turned blue as the sun made its way down behind the mountains near Haukland Beach in the Lofoten Islands, Norway

Bridge to LofotensBridge to LofotensIt is illegal to pull over on the side of the road to take pictures in the Lofoten Islands in Norway. Roads are narrow, but luckily we were able to find a wide spot to catch the sun over the mountains and lake in the distance.

Sunsets over Haukland Beach, Lofoten Islands, NorwaySunsets over Haukland Beach, Lofoten Islands, NorwayAs the sun got closer to disappearing over the horizon, the skies turned a nice shade of blue just before the sun set over Haukland Beach in the Lofoten Islands, Norway

A few more basic blends.  If it's not on your bucket list yet, sunsets in the Lofoten Islands in the winter are worth the trip.

Getting closer to finishing up a first pass at my Norway album, then onto some post processing from my trips to Austin and Florida.

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