Not Quite Giving Up on Sunsets….. Yet
YASOK Yet Another Sunset Over Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 + 1.7×TC @ 340 mm — 1/800 sec, f/4.8, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
YASOK
Yet Another Sunset Over Kyoto

Well, after the once-in-a-lifetime Sunset last week, I've been hoping to cheat death and see a second one, and to do so from a better vantage point. I've taken to sprinting up to the Shogunzuka overlook if a nice sunset looks to be brewing. I've done it three times now, the first having been the day after, and the most recent today.

I arrived just in time to watch a fiery orange/red – seen above – disappear from over the mountains to the west.

Of course, as I've been complaining a lot about of late, the image doesn't really capture what one saw. In this case, it's such a strong zoom that it makes it feel like the whole sky was on fire like the other day, but it wasn't. It was still pretty, but my camera or (more likely) my skill just aren't up to the task of capturing that wide a range of brightnesses, from the brilliant brightness of the edge of the clouds to the relatively dim mountain facing me. I could see the mountains just fine while taking the pictures, but my camera couldn't.

Anyway, the red-orange of my sunset was gone in a minute, but looking south-west toward Osaka 30 miles away, in the far distance past Osaka, I could see mildly orange clouds with exquisite detail. They must have been absolutely huge to be as big as they were from my vantage point, and would have certainly made for a great sunset to be under them.

Later, Looking South-West Osaka skyscrapers are left of center; Bright orange of my sunset had been just off the right side of the frame -- Shougunzuka -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 52 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/4.5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Later, Looking South-West
Osaka skyscrapers are left of center;
Bright orange of my sunset had been just off the right side of the frame
Closer Look at the Dynamic Clouds over, behind, and in front of the Osaka skyline, seen from 30 miles away -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 + 1.7×TC @ 230 mm — 1/500 sec, f/4.8, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Closer Look at the Dynamic Clouds
over, behind, and in front of the Osaka skyline, seen from 30 miles away

Back to the first picture above, let me show four other pictures taken at pretty much the same time. This time, I put the camera into bracketing mode, so that it'd take not only the shot that it thought was properly exposed, but two shots at varying underexposure, and two shots at varying overexposure. When taken with the camera in “burst mode”, the five-shot sequence takes about one second to complete. Here they are.... mouseover the buttons below to see the various shots.

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 + 1.7×TC @ 340 mm — 1/800 sec, f/4.8, ISO 500
–2 EV   –   –1 EV  ·  Normal Exposure  ·  +1 EV  ·  +2 EV
mouseover button to see that image

D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 + 1.7×TC @ 340 mm — 1/640 sec, f/4.8, ISO 800

D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 + 1.7×TC @ 340 mm — 1/640 sec, f/4.8, ISO 1600

D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 + 1.7×TC @ 340 mm — 1/640 sec, f/4.8, ISO 3200

D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 + 1.7×TC @ 340 mm — 1/640 sec, f/4.8, ISO 5600

I cropped them all every so slightly to compensate for my slight movement during the capture sequence (all were handheld... I haven't used a tripod since the spring, although today's shots would certainly have benefited from one), but other than that and resizing for this post, they are as I loaded them into Lightroom.

It's actually a pretty bad example of a high-dynamic-range scene, but I have some better ones on my Why I Don't Do HDR post. This would be a situation where HDR could yield some great results.... if only the display medium could make use of them. Oh well.

Anyway, the first photo on this post is the -2 EV shot, cropped a bit to try to bring out the towers, with some “Recovery” in Lightroom to turn the yellow glowing fringe of the horizon-hhugging cloud edge white (to “de-clip” things a bit; the white result is still wrong, but less distracting than yellow). The application of a bit of Recovery also has the beneficial effect of bringing out some detail in the upper clouds.

While I was up there, a taxi-van filled with half a dozen school girls came up, and they posed while the driver took a picture... with... each... girl's... camera...

Say “Cheese”.... “Cheese”.....“Cheese”.... and so on -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 + 1.7×TC @ 200 mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Say “Cheese”.... “Cheese”.....“Cheese”....
and so on

I was more interested in the sunset, but made a quick snapshot of the line of girls...

— 1 / 60 sec , f/4.8, ISO 6400 — map & image data — nearby photos Posing -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 + 1.7×TC @ 230 mm1/60 sec, f/4.8, ISO 6400map & image datanearby photos
Posing

I wonder how their pictures came out. The ones with flash might actually come out okay, but I suspect that the ones without flash will result in just a bunch of silhouettes like this.


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

Some great shots as always Jeff. I love the dynamic clouds image. Oh to have that kind of weather in the Cotswolds! Kevin

— comment by Kevin Mullins Photography on November 19th, 2008 at 5:30am JST (9 years ago) comment permalink

Now that’s getting to be a VERY nice sunset picture. May I please suggest a Reverse ND. Please take a peek (as well as all of their products) WARNING: ADDICTIVE
http://www.singh-ray.com/reversegrads.html
Best,
Tom

You can apply something similar to this in post-processing in Lightroom, and I actually did experiment with it a bit on some of these frames, but it ends up looking too apparently fake when the horizon is not smooth (e.g. when the horizon is skyline and mountains). I don’t mind it being fake… I just don’t want it looking as such 🙂 It’s much easier to apply to sunsets-over-the-ocean images, and I’ve used it to good effect on some of those before. —Jeffrey

— comment by Tom on November 19th, 2008 at 5:54am JST (9 years ago) comment permalink

I cringe at the thought of having that driver’s job. 😉

— comment by Leslie on November 19th, 2008 at 5:16pm JST (9 years ago) comment permalink
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