Crafting an Image: Shooting the First Sunrise of the New Year (Part 3 of 16)

Previous Post Crafting an Image: Executing the Plan (2 of 16) Crafting an Image: Shooting the First Sunrise of the New Year After a lon...

Previous Post

Crafting an Image: Executing the Plan (2 of 16)





Crafting an Image: Shooting the First Sunrise of the New Year

After a long night doing star photography and just getting a few hours of uncomfortable sleep, I was up and ready to shoot the sunrise about an hour before it happened.

Honestly, I was expecting to have too many clouds and having to just walk back disappointed, but luckily the sunrise was quite promising and my exhaustion quickly turned to excitement.

The Shots

My vision for this sunrise shot was a panoramic that included the rock shapes to the right of the arch and perhaps some of the cliffs below. The shot actually ended up going according to plan except that I ended up adding a lot more of the sky/sun to right as the light was best in that direction.

To capture the image I tried a few different lenses but was planning on merging a number of images left to right regardless. I settled on one of my favorite lenses, the Voigtlander 40mm, and ended up shooting ten shots that I envisioned as one shot. I only needed five shots left to right to capture the entire scene, but I needed two shots per spot for sky exposure. The unedited merged version of the ten shots is below.



Here is the final finished(ish) image (the rest of the posts in this series show the steps of how I got from the above image to the one below).



The full size merged uncropped image shot with my Nikon D800E is a whopping 5015 x 20228 pixels(!) which will be cropped significantly (about 5008 x 15846) while still having plenty of information for a very large panoramic print. Below is a full-size crop.



The composition: Does it work?

The composition ended up being close to what I had envisioned while planning the trip (which certainly doesn't always happen). I had to improvise a bit because of the light -- by including the great light/clouds to the right of the image. The Arch is well represented, but not overtly so (unlike most images of Delicate Arch I've seen) -- I envision this image being printed very large and so the Arch will still seem prominent in a large print.

The lines starting in the bottom left corner nicely lead the eye up past the Arch and on through to the top right clouds -- giving the viewer a nice feeling of distance and harmony. The distant blues contrasting with the foreground rock colors further accentuates the feeling of distance. I'm also a fan of how the clouds nicely match the shapes in the rocks. I do like the image and expect to be able to sell some, but I'd have liked a bit better color editing (work in progress) and perhaps a bit more immediate impact from the composition, but as it is I like it OK (in a later post I talk about how I actually hate all my photographs for quite a while after I've taken them, haha).

Now onto the hard part -- the remainder of this series dives deep into how I arrived at a final image ready for print ...

The 10 Raw Images


Up Next

Crafting an Image: The Tao of Photo Editing (4 of 16)

You Might Also Like

0 comments

Flickr Images