Last Saturday I shot some bracketed exposures during sunset at Salem Cemetery in the Old Salem district of Winston-Salem. My intent was to perform some HDR tests with a trial version of Aurora HDR 2018. I ended up with a composite of Aurora, Lightroom and Photoshop manipulations. Aurora looks like it could complement my workflow; I hope to do some more testing before my trial expires.
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Following up on my previous post with additional compositions from Ocean Isle Beach.
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The east end of Ocean Isle Beach remains undeveloped and retains much of the characteristics of a southeastern US barrier island. This seascape is forever changing, and each time I visit, there is some new to discover . Below is a view of a tidal pool looking from the Intracostal Waterway side of the island back towards the seaward side.
Below is a sunrise view looking east towards Holden Beach, another North Carolina barrier island.
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I spotted this abandoned industrial area while photographing the old Sara Lee Underwear plant (see my Smokestack Landmark post). Returning just after sunrise a few weeks later, the lighting was much better. As an added bonus, the fence was unlocked and opened as shown above, I was able to get some great shots of building 2 seen below.
In the top middle section of the image above, a flock of birds can be barely made out. Click on an image to see a higher 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!