A salute to the sunrise photographer.
I thought I'd post this shot of one of my failed attempts to get the sunrise at Cambois.
It's a fine line how far you push your luck with camera placement for a shot isn't it. The camera here was on a carrier bag on the wet sand. I wanted the tide to come right up to the lens but not actually touch it (obviously). This was a shot when it didn't.
When taking a shot of the sunrise you have only got about 4 mins of "perfect" sun placement on the horizon and so many things have to come together - clouds, tide, reflected light etc. So if you're doing a LE you have only really 4-5 shots to nail it.
I'm babbling on like this to show my appreciation to all of my friends who post fantastic sunrises/sunset shots - I know how hard you all work for your shot, and like me you have a hard drive full of "almosts" but the effort is so worth it.
Hats off to you all.
In terms of colour rendition, exposure, subject (sun) placement etc. I think you've nailed it. The only thing that I'm not sure about is the LE effect on the clouds and the surf. It's either too long or not long enough, and I can't make up my mind which. If it had been good and long you would have got that misty, silky look to the water (although I don't think it would have worked in this case). A shorter exposure would have given us better definition in the cloud and the wave action which I'm inclined to think might have been preferable.
I know it's easy to criticise; "I would have taken this shot 5 feet to the right". Not knowing that there lies a 300 foot drop off the side of a cliff! I'm not convinced I would (or could) have done any better, so well done you.:)
Clearly a long(ish) exposure, as the clouds have all moved considerably. It certainly had me thinking about how to get this right..... and I agree with your comment about how difficult it is to get everything to 'come together' for one exposure. That, I think, is perhaps the heart of the problem.
The upright pillars and the stones are almost completely without detail, and so is a large area around the sun. I'm not suggesting that they should both reveal detail, but I think a multiple exposure shot may have worked well - if you can get one long exposure for the movement and one short one to get just enough of the sun without being burnt out. These could have been put back together in an HDR program - though I'm no fan of automated HDR. So, if you're handy with editing in layers, perhaps using individual exposure as layers might be the answer, with careful masking and blending.
One exposure, in Raw, may also have been a choice - using the Fill Light control and reducing black to minimum. In the end, though, the shot has - due to the limitations of the sensor - been unable to capture what your eyes saw - the dynamic range of light has 'overflowed'. Film, rather than digital, actually works better in dealing with a high dynamic range - but only marginally.
I've tried similar shots myself in the past, without the blending - and just couldn't get the balance right.
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