"Skies and patience" Sun 17-Feb-13 09:52 AM by jrp
On the first shooting day of our trip, we arrived late at the Mezquite Dunes. The light was going away fast, casting no shadows to allow for the capture of textures and making everything an ugly gray. So I packed and turned back towards the parking area.
Raising my head I saw a faint sky, not very promising for a good sunset shot; I thought ..
Patience has never been one of my natural virtues, but somehow decided to wait, and the skies rewarded me by beginning to improve:
The skies, joking about my hopes for a gorgeous sunset began to darken fast:
But then, just when I was about to keep on walking back, the sky lit up and went "nuclear" before dying immediately after, leaving only darkness behind:
newbird Neuville, near Quebec City, CA Nikonian since 25th Apr 2006
Sat 16-Feb-13 03:07 PM
#2. "RE: Skies and patience" In response to Reply # 0
Nice story that "shows" how patience pays, especially after sunset! Your story with examples has a great teaching value as it provides real examples of what may happen.
The exact same thing happened to me once I was at Mono Lake. The nicest sky happened when everybody else (almost) were back at the parking lot packing their photo gears. This was the only nice sky that night and there were very few of us going back to the hotel with the nice shots. Patience is key with sunsets.
One question JRP: If you would have had the time, do you think you could have reached a similar result using ND grad filters of increasing density since such filters have a red colorcast (cf. SinghRay filters) that increases with their density?
#6. "RE: Skies and patience" In response to Reply # 2 Sun 24-Feb-13 09:46 PM by jrp
Yvan, Thank you for your kind comment. My few Singh Ray filters don't seem to have a color cast at all. The other thing is that I seldom have the time (or patience) to switch filters in sessions like the one shown. As one is waiting with great expectations it feels like an eternity, even when everything happens very fast. To my surprise, according to the EXIF data, once I decided to stay the rest of whole sequence with a few images in between took less than three minutes.
I only had an A2 filter on the 85mm f/1.4D, no ND Grads at all.
#3. "RE: Skies and patience" In response to Reply # 0
Beautiful series Ramon. That was one great sunset. Many times I have waited and waited, just like you retell in your story, mostly with "She who must be obeyed" waiting in the car giving me the "look". Sometimes I'll be rewarded with a gorgeous end to the day, sometimes I go back to the car empty handed disappointed but not defeated. The landscape photography gods are ruthless sometimes, but they know how to apply their wisdom on us mere mortals armed only with deep passion and our patience, as you so eloquently point out.
#8. "RE: Skies and patience" In response to Reply # 4 Sat 16-Feb-13 08:32 PM by jrp
Bill, The foreground had no detail to the naked eye. Uninteresting at all. I measured the light with the spot meter and it would have needed about 6 f-stops to almost compensate for the difference of exposure between the mountain and the sky. Plus I felt anything could happen instantly, with no time to take out and mount the holder and filters for the lens I was using.
I tried to bring out a bit of detail in post-processing. That only resulted in an ugly bluish grainy blob for the mountain. Tone-mapping in Photomatix Pro did not yield anything decent, except for the black and white conversion, as shown below with a bit of contrast added:
#9. "RE: Skies and patience" In response to Reply # 8 Mon 18-Feb-13 01:22 AM by pixures
I see. At first it reminded me of the sunsets I have seen in Great Smoky National Park. http://www.images-captured.com/p179503819/h494fb2f8#h494fb2f8. I did have a stop neutral grad on at the time which helped the shadows in post. I fully understand about getting the shot rather than rummaging thru the pack for filters.