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Working a location | Boulder Bank, Nelson

To reach this landmark lighthouse requires a tedious gravel bash of seven kilometres. The pounding of hardened leather boots on unstable rocks had my feet screaming blue murder. Two hours elapsed before I arrived at the 18m-high structure, looming over Nelson Haven like a sore thumb.

For an hour I scouted the vicinity, but the lovely light of late afternoon was fast fading. A gentle zephyr destroyed the reflections I was dreaming of. Near dusk, I settled on a composition, which celebrates the historic lighthouse as the hero of the shot.

To show the wide open expanse, I chose to create a panoramic stitch. This meant shooting four overlapping photos, which I fused together later in Photoshop. Here is the resulting 'stitch'...

The following morning, I shot from the same direction, but the light was totally different...

I decided to create a sunstar effect, firstly on the horizon, then against the lighthouse itself. This is merely a matter of selecting a narrow aperture such as f/16...

... and bracketing a few exposures, which I blended together in post. The tricky thing was using luminosity masking to select the foreground, which received more sharpening and exposure boosting than the sky.

Learn the art of exposure blending so your sunrise shots will really pop! Enroll in my premium Landscape Photography course, on-line. Here's the link: LOCATIONZ - landscape lessons on location.

Settings: Aperture: f/11-22 | Shutter Speeds: varied | ISO: 100 | Focal length: 17mm Canon 5D MarkIII DSLR camera.

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

Keyword: landscape photography south island nz, new zealand landscape photography

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