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05-02-2014, 01:23 AM - 1 Like   #1
K David's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado
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Thirty Minutes of Sunset
Lens: Pentax SMC-M 50mm 1.4 Camera: Pentax K-3 

I combined this image from around 200 individual shots of the Point Arena lighthouse as the sun set and ocean fog came ashore. Using Photoshop statistics blending, I was able to achieve an image that looked like a single long-duration photo.

If you're interested, here is a video showing how I made it. This isn't intended to be part of the entry nor do I want this to count as an entry itself. The video is just explanatory.

For technique, I placed the K-3 on a tripod and roped the tripod to a fence post (it was windy.) Using a manual focus lens here helped a LOT because the camera couldn't focus-hunt and ruin the shot. I also kept it on manual so that the camera wouldn't change any settings. Using the K-3's built-in intervalometer, I was able to let the K-3 snap away while my girlfriend and I sat in a gazebo and watched the sunset.

I've found that the 50 1.4's sharpest aperture is 5.6, and darn is it sharp. It's hard to see here, but at 100: the window frames are crisp, upright lines. The lamps hidden in shadow on the outbuilding doorways have form. And my K-3 really, really takes that lens' and makes full use of its sharpness.

As an added bonus of this technique, I was able to also make an animated gif.

Basically, for me, this was my first trip with my K-3. I used my K-7 alongside it at the same time for a similar image. But this photo was more successful.I had been planning the Point Arena trip for three months and spent literally HOURS on Google Earth scouting the site and determining the shots I wanted to take. And I got almost all of them. My K-3, K-7, and 6X7 all got significant workouts that weekend (I killed two 4LR44 batteries in two nights taking star trails with my 6X7.) But the point of this picture, advance to the next round or not, is simply to share that this was one of the first shots I visualized in my mind first, figured out how to capture, and then set about doing it. Certainly I've scouted locations on Google Earth, but never going so far as to pre-imagine a shot. And I think the result is highly satisfactory. And there are enough seed images to reprocess it different ways and achieve different lighting and coloration effects. The point of all that is to say how I did this and, I hope, that someone else attempts this same technique and achieves even better results.

05-02-2014, 02:50 AM - 1 Like   #2
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manntax's Avatar

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Very well technically executed. I love the effect on the sky and I also like how you framed and placed this light house on the side with space to the left - which emphasises the lonelinesses that one usually associated with those structures. . nomination from me !


Last edited by manntax; 05-06-2014 at 02:18 PM.
05-09-2014, 06:54 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I nominate this photo. I like how the clouds trace towards the lighthouse. The positioning of the lighthouse is very well done.
05-26-2014, 01:02 PM   #4
K David's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado
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Original Poster
Thank you, Manntax and Dracluff!

06-01-2014, 04:58 PM   #5
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Location: Saint Louis, MO
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Wonderful sky. I love how the structures seem to be models.


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