During our family vacation at Ocean Isle Beach last July, we made our traditional sunset visit to the local pier. I quickly noticed a different light characteristic than what I was used to. The light was noticeably cooler. Later I remembered this visit was a little later than usual, the sun had just set at the horizon.
As sunset approaches the kelvin temperature of light typically drops resulting in the “golden hour” light. But after sunset, the kelvin temperature rise back up, cooling things off. As in sunrise, this transition point offers a great range of color temperatures. Warm yellow and orange, sun touched tonality sits just above cooler magenta and purple tonality just out of reach of the sun’s rays.
Shooting at twilight required use of a much higher ISO, this series was shot between 2000 – 3200 ISO. Though my Nikon D750 does a nice job with higher ISO noise reduction, this series still required some noise and moire reduction processing. After applying an Ektachrome slide film emulation the remaining noise was seamlessly blended into the film grain structure.
Below, I included a 2015 photo of the same scene taken 20 minutes earlier in the day, just before sunset. It’s a great example of the lighting change from just before sunset, to just after – twilight time.
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I used my Tamron 15-30 mm wide angle lens to capture this dramatic view of the Sunset Beach Bridge and Boat Ramp. There were several blue, yellow, orange and green luminosity tweaks involved to get the optimal tonality spread. At the end of my black and white workflow, I applied my standard Agfa APX 100 b&w film emulation using Alien Skin’s Exposure X3 software.
Part two of the lovely sunrise captured at Ocean Isle Beach. This post includes a couple of monochrome compositions as well. While the lovely color hues are a significant feature in the color compositions, the monochromes elevate the interesting patterns and textures of the clouds and tidal morning seascape.
For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view the high resolution version from my portfolio site.
These lovely sunrise images were captured last week while on vacation at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. The view is from the east end of this barrier island looking across the channel to Holden Beach, another in a series of North Carolina barrier islands. Mother Nature’s display this morning was quite spectacular!
Thank you for taking time to visit my photo blog. For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see the high resolution version from my portfolio site.
Photographers and painters are keenly aware of the dramatic scenery available at the beginning and ending of each day. The low angle of the sun creates powerful side and back lighting opportunities for the artist to uniquely shape their subject. Additionally, the warmer color temperature and increased contrast add further visual interest. Of equal importance, I believe the artist must capture the feeling or experience of being there at these special times of day.
Many cultures, philosophies and faiths recognize the inherent beauty and power bestowed at sunrise and sunset. I remember reading years ago Henry Ward Beecher referring to the first hour of the morning as the “rudder of the day.” At a physiological level, these times mark transitions in the daily cycle of life. Sunrise is also the meditative time to peacefully reflect and prepare or the day to come. At sunset, we also reflect and unwind from the stresses of the day, while preparing to rest our body and mind. We all experience this ritual at some level of consciousness. Even today, medical and wellness experts continue to tell us, to the degree we embed ourselves in the meditative opportunities at these special times of day, the healthier and more enjoyable we will live our lives.
So, it is this magical, if not also mystical, experience of a peaceful sunrise or beautiful sunset I hope to capture in my work. I don’t think it’s sometimes referred to as the golden hour just as a reference to the warmth of a rising or setting sun.
These images are from my July 2015 vacation at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. Click on an image to see a higher resolution version of each image on my photography portfolio site: csyjr.photoshelter.com. I’d also love to hear your thoughts and feedback!