First Light

Confession time. I am NOT a morning person. It takes a lot of commitment to set that alarm clock for 5am. But it pays big-time, when you score a stunning sunrise photo.

This image was taken on the way home from a failed photo shoot, as a Plan B. Having already scouted this region of Nelson, I decided to return here to capture this moody scene from the road bridge across the Maitai River.

This might seem like a perfectly tranquil scene I just 'snapped', but in reality, there were a number of factors that had to line up...

1) The tide was in 2) No wind - ripples would have spoiled the reflections in the river

3) The sun had risen, just - enough to provide side-lighting to the old Post Office building

4) The photographer had risen - I showed up.

Settings: To compress the perspective of this sleepy scene, I used my trusty telezoom lens. Aperture: f/11 | Shutter speed: 1/60th | ISO: 200 | Focal length: 70mm | Aperture Priority. Camera: Canon 5D Mark III | Manfrotto tripod. [ If camera settings are still confusing, enroll in my Discover Your DSLR course ]

Post Processing: The original shot appeared rather 'flat', so a big boost in contrast was needed, along with a bit of cleaning up and sharpening in Adobe Photoshop.

Below is an alternative view in 'portrait orientation.' [ Focal length was 176mm.] Yep, I've employed the ubiquitious Rule of Thirds - probably without thinking.

Last Light

But wait, there's more...

I returned at the end of the day, when things had warmed up. Compare the colour temperature of the images above with this shot during the Golden Hour. A brief clearance of the clouds allowed the sun to selectively light the scene.

Settings: Aperture: f/16 | Shutter speed: 1 second | ISO: 100 | Focal length: 81mm | Aperture Priority. Camera: Canon 5D Mark III | Manfrotto tripod.

[ If camera settings are still confusing, enroll in my Discover Your DSLR course ]

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