September Sunsets in California

Late September, around the time I went to Sugar Pine Reservoir to take a bunch of photos (part 1 and part 2 if you missed it), I spent a few evenings taking my camera and tripod out to capture some sunset photos.

Taking a photo with my phone of my camera taking a photo of the sunset. It’s a little weird.

I wanted something simple to practice on as I went through the more manual settings of my Canon to really test them out and discover the limitations. Additionally, I wanted to become more familiar with, and comfortable using, my tripod so that when I do take it out I can set up easily and quickly.

Locating a level-enough surface around here seems to be the trickiest bit.

So much yellow!

An interesting gradient was appearing in the sky, oranges and peaches taking away some of the yellow.
(When the sun was not the focus.)

While I can (and do) adjust the legs of my tripod, I don’t have a level to verify that the tripod is, in fact, level. This may be something I will need to acquire later on. In the meantime, eyeballing it worked well enough.

(And I can always adjust the alignment of a photograph in Lightroom or Photoshop as needed.)

The sun shimmering through the trees, washing out colour. Not a perfect shot, but I liked the look it created.

I was out a couple hours that evening, setting up the tripod early and testing it before the sun began is descent into the horizon. It wasn’t too chilly, though the ground was a bit damp from rain a few days before.

These three photos are an interesting example of how the colours change so drastically as the sun sets. It’s quite amazing.

Editing these photos was where the real fun began, though. I opened up Lightroom and really spent the time experimenting and testing out different settings and tools. I love how vibrant and rich the colours are in the final photos. The result much closer to what I was seeing, and less muddy/murky than what was captured through the camera.

Caught a couple of planes crossing paths!

And a tiny bird, or bat, in this one. (Which I didn’t see at the time!)

In some cases, I took the usual artistic liberties and pushed the colours either too far, or in another direction to create a different mood for the photo.

Can you guess which ones?

Spoiler: This is one. I pushed the pink and magenta a little further, keeping the mood low and soft in the photo. The skies didn’t appear quite this colour on the day I took the photo, but I have seen sunsets like this one… so it’s not so far out of reality.

Haven’t seen enough?

I have more photos up in my deviantART gallery. I also have stock photos available for purchase through Adobe Stock and Foap! If you have your sights on another photo of mine that’s not available online, let me know and we can work something out. 🙂

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