Wednesday 29 April 2020

The Problem With Sunsets

    Every time I notice that we have a colorful sunset going on, I rush outside with my camera to take a photo, and every time I try to take such a photo, I encounter the same problem:  The huge difference in contrast between the bright light of the sunset and the darkness of the landscape below it that is shaded by the mountains.  The automatic light adjustment on the camera just can’t handle the subtle gradients of the light between the two.  It either wants to adjust to the sky, which makes the landscape too dark, or adjust to the landscape, which makes the sky so light and washes out all of the color of the sunset.
    I know there are ways to deal with this problem, but being lazy, I usually just aim at the sky so I get the color, then holding the shutter button half down (which locks in that adjustment) I lower the camera to get everything I want in the photo, and fully press the shutter button.  This of course makes the landscape way too dark, but I always live in hope that I can play around with the photo on the computer to try to lighten and bring out the details of the landscape.  In the photo above I really couldn’t do as much to the landscape which is still too dark.
    If I had more patience, I could take a photo of the sky, then staying in the same place take a photo of the landscape, then merge the two photos in Photoshop, but like I said, I am pretty lazy, so I just make myself be satisfied with what I can do quickly.

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