Friday, March 28, 2014
This week, I focussed each and every blog on sunsets and sunrise, from photography and illustration to how tos with cameras and Photoshop. But while the beauty can be captured through a lens, with a paintbrush, or using an image editor, the ebb and flow of Mother Nature and the life around her are stilled.
So, to take my theme across the entire five days and complete what became a rather fun series, I have now looked to the wonderful AnimationFactory, the best online source for animated clipart, PowerPoint templates, backgrounds and videos, to see what happens when the wonder of an illustrated sunset is no longer still. Here's what I found:
Thursday, March 27, 2014
As already discussed, it is one type of art to capture the perfect twilight or dawn through the lens of a camera; it is another to enhance that photograph with editing software to create an image that is just a little more... well, more.
But there is yet another way of preserving this natural beauty — through art. One of the most strikingly lovely paintings to me is Monet's Impression Sunrise. I am by no means a connoisseur of fine art, nor would I say I have a strong appreciation for it. I don't know why a particular piece would speak to me. I just know that if it does, I listen. Monet's Sunrise makes me feel things — a loneliness without desolation, a calm intensity.
Those feelings reaffirm to me the power of this particular subject, regardless of the medium it's depicted in. During business hours I reside in a world of online clipart. Here too, sunrises and sunsets have been the muses for many of the talented illustrators whose work is featured there. Like the photographer, they are struck by what they have already seen; like the artist there is no limit to what they can do with that through imagination and creativity.
Here are just a few examples:
iCLIPART.com Sunrises, Sunsets
Acclaim Images Sunsets and Sunrises
ClickArt Online Sunrise/Sunset
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
On a recent trip to the French River, my husband and I were watching a spectacular sunset taking shape over the water. My camera was ready and thanks to digital photography and no concerns any more about wasting film, I went snap happy.
When the time came to load the pictures on my computer after our return home days later, however, I was less than impressed with the results. The colours that night had been strikingly vivid and distinct; the ones in the photo on the other hand were flatter, rather muted by comparison.
Once upon a time you pretty much had to take what you got. These days, however, image editors can help us enhance any photograph, including the glorious colours that come with the rising and setting sun. In a very short time, I was able to turn that picture into a true representation of what I'd seen that evening.
Here are some tips and techniques to give you the power to transform a sunset:
Enhance Sunset with Photoshop CS6
How to Enhance a Sunset Photo
Fix Common Sunset Photos in Photoshop
Use a Gradient Map to Enhance a Sunrise
Enhance Sunset Photos in 10 Minutes
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
I first began photographing this natural phenomenon about 30 years ago where we summered on the shores of picturesque Lake Huron, an area renowned for some of the world's most glorious sunsets. Yet, no matter what, the end result never quite did justice to the amazing depth and colour of the vision that had been displayed before me. Night after night we sat out on the rocks at the end of the pier and waited for, not just the heavenly performance, but for something extra that might set a photo apart from others.
In the years since, there have been many sunsets caught by my lens. Ironically, one of my favourites really had been entirely focused on another subject. The end of that particular day found my little grandson and me down on the beach at a family cottage. He was taking great pleasure in seeking out little treasures along the rocky shoreline, while I took great pleasure in photographing his every move.
As day darkened, I suddenly became aware of the pinking of the sky. Where typically we see vibrant oranges and reds, this one was all gentle hues and tones, a definitely different sunset than I'd grown accustomed to there. At this point, having enjoyed my young explorer's antics for quite some time, I begged his indulgence and asked him to stop for a few minutes. Plunking himself on a large rock, he glanced to the side, an indulgently tolerant expression on his adorable face and I took the picture. Highlighted by the still blue water and soft pastel shades of the twilight sky behind, this photo had a wonderful mood, and held proud place in my home until my grandson, now a teenager, thought perhaps it was time for an update.
I got lucky that day, helped by the right place at the right time. But there are tips and tricks that can guide you on your way to some of the best sunset — and sunrise — photos you'll ever take. Here are just a few informative websites I found:
Digital Photography School 12 Tips for Photographing Stunning Sunrises and Sunsets
wikiHow Photograph a Sunset
Camera Settings for Dummies Sunset Photos
Digital Camera World Best Settings for Shooting Sunsets
Improve Photography 30 Sunset Photography Tips
Nikon Shooting Spectacular Sunrises and Sunsets
Photographing Sunrises and Sunsets
How To: Photograph Sunsets
ePHOTOzine Top Ten Sunset Photography Tips and Tricks
Monday, March 24, 2014
While there is no natural cause for an optical difference between the two, there is, however, according to the authors of Color and Light in Nature (Cambridge Press 2001) human factors that affect our perception. At dusk, after a day spent in daylight our eyes don't adjust quite as swiftly to the darkening sky so some of the hues might be lost. At dawn, though, our acute night vision sees every hue, every slight alteration in colour.
True perhaps, but it certainly doesn't take anything away from the grandeur of either. I admit I have caught more sunsets in my time than sunrises and rarely find them anything but awesome. Likewise, have been the few early mornings when I've been up to watch to the brightening sky.
These natural phenomena are the perfect start and end to a day, a photographer's dream, a nature lover's ideal. They inspire even the busiest among us to pause for a second and enjoy the display. They are omnipresent and glorious.
The collections of wonderful photos I share here capture that beauty. Whether they were taken at morning or night really couldn't matter less to me.
iPHOTOS.com Sunsets and Sunrises
iCLIPART.com Sunrise/Sunset With People
Acclaim Images Sunrises/Sunsets