Sunset from a Firetower

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  • #54542
    Blessings Captured
    Participant

    We have a fire lookout tower a couple miles from our house. It was fun to go there for the sunset even though it wasn’t a colorful sunset. How could I have composed these pictures better? Would you edit them differently?

    What could I do better next time? I want to go again when we have we have some richer fall colors and maybe a colorful sunset/sunrise.

    Settings in file names.

    Thanks for any tips!

    Attachments:
    #54548
    Frazer Family
    Participant

    This may be just personal opinion, but I think that the land areas of the second shot need more contrast. They’re looking a little hazy and hard-to-see. Now, that can give a pleasing effect, but especially in the second shot, it feels like there’s material there that the viewer is supposed to be able to see clearly.

    When you shot the third shot, were you using a tripod? Personally, I would have raised your ISO to at least 400 to give you a bit more wiggle-room with your speed. 1/80th is hard to hold still at 135 mm zoom, unless your lens has a good stabilizer.

    Hope this helps a bit,
    William

    #54565
    Blessings Captured
    Participant

    Yes, I see how they could use some more contrast. Thanks for that input.

    I was resting the camera on the platform which wasn’t as steady as tripod. I should have paid more attention to my shutter speed.

    #54567
    Blessings Captured
    Participant

    Does this picture look better with the sky cropped out?

    Attachments:
    #54608
    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    My first thought was, “Oh, what a gorgeous view!”

    That’s a good thing. A viewer’s initial impression says a lot about a photo.

    Great choice to crop out most of the sky. Sometimes completely cropping out the sky is good, when there’s nothing in it, but I personally do like seeing some of it. 3rd and 4th shots don’t feel look sharp. 1st one is my favorite because there’s more than just rolling hills to look at. That old falling down barn and the cows in the pasture really make great “foreground” interest. Perhaps zooming in a bit to emphasize just one or the other could make some interesting shots. Including both is great though. Do go back when there’s a bit more color. Golden hour is still going to help keep the fall colors looking golden; with such distance, the haze is going to make even vibrant trees look “bluish blah” in the distance.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by James Staddon.
    #54653
    Joshua Ong
    Participant

    The fire tower is certainly an excellent vantage point for scenic pictures. How tall is it? I’d imagine a couple of storeys as the surrounding bushland forests appear small.

    The golden hour light does add more colour to the green in the pictures. But I’m pretty sure the place will look better in autumn and probably even in winter (if you happen to get snow). If I were you, I would probably include the sun as it sets on the horizon.

    #54745
    Blessings Captured
    Participant

    Yes @JamesStaddon, I kept going back and forth about cropping out the sky. I didn’t want it to draw the eye too much because of it being the lightest part of the picture. But now I see how I think it helps add depth.
    I need to work on my sharpness in all my photography. I found out later from my camera store’s technician that the lens’ connections needed cleaned and that was why I was having so much trouble with focusing with that lens. Thankfully it wasn’t anything worse.


    @Joshua_Ong
    I’m not too good with distances, but my brother says he thinks the fire tower is 100-150 ft. That is a good idea to go if we get a good snow this winter. (It’s been a couple years).

    Thank you for taking the time to share!

    #55296
    Lydia Bennett
    Participant

    @blessingscaptured, just wanted to say I enjoyed seeing these photos!

    I really like the first photo. Love the contrasts of light and shadows. There’s a tree that’s sunlit and contrasted by the shadowed field behind it… it’s such a small detail in the overall scene but it’s one thing my eye just keeps going back to look at. Personally, I think I might have edited that photo a little more dramatically to really bring out those contrasts, but your edit has a serene feel to it.

    Nicely done!

    #55309
    Blessings Captured
    Participant

    Thank you @bennett-family. I like the sunlit tree as well. When I went back a couple weeks later the angle of the sun had changed enough to make it be not lit the same. It was interesting to note, I’m glad I got it when I did.

    #55352
    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    the lens’ connections needed cleaned and that was why I was having so much trouble with focusing with that lens.

    This is good to know. Thanks for sharing.

    #55364
    Blessings Captured
    Participant

    Actually, a couple days ago I showed it to a camera store manager and he confirmed that that wasn’t the root of the problem. ): One of the the plastic flanges on the lens mount has broken off making the contacts not always have good communication to the camera. That not only effects focusing but also sometimes the aperture will shut down.

    #55517
    Joshua Ong
    Participant

    One of the the plastic flanges on the lens mount has broken off making the contacts not always have good communication to the camera.

    I suppose wear and tear from switching lenses on the SLR has caused this issue…

    #55545
    Blessings Captured
    Participant

    I suppose wear and tear from switching lenses on the SLR has caused this issue…

    Yes, I can’t think of any time when it broke. I just noticed it when closely examining the lens contacts.

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