Photographing the Sun

This week I've been working on photographing landscapes that involve the sun, rays from the sun, or lens aberrations due to harsh sunlight. Early on in my photo excursion yesterday, despite frigid temperatures in Hawk's Nest and Carnifex Ferry Battlefield, both state parks in West Virginia, I realized that the sun was getting in my way of photographing without either harsh shadows, or by creating aberrations in my photographs. You should also know that I keep a steady monologue on my hikes, and during this particular monologue, I cursed the sun, the cold, creaky trees, and geese. Geese always deserve it, and as difficult as it may seem when being chased by one or a gaggle, it is possible to get away from those foul, loud-mouthed beasts. That being said, I could only run away from the sun by being in the shade, so I tried that, and remembered I could create a halo effect that way. I also remembered that I could work with a flare from the sun to my advantage in order to create a more appealing scene by highlighting a main subject, like in the photo below of the house that Henry Patterson built in the 1850s on what would become the battle field of Carnifex Ferry, Summersville, West Virginia.

Henry Patterson House at Carnifax Ferry Battlefield in Southern West Virginia

Henry Patterson House at Carnifax Ferry Battlefield in Southern West Virginia

Not only did I use this method here, but also in more photographs, along with one that I posted to Spotlight West Virginia. I'll show it below and explain the method I used.

Sunset over Summersville Reservoir, West Virginia

Sunset over Summersville Reservoir, West Virginia

In this photograph, I took my inspiration from the shots that Spotlight West Virginia tends to post. These posts seem to generate a decent amount of popularity for this area, and they all have the same type of recurring theme in photographs that the page itself shares--over-saturated/vibrant, sunset, sunrise, landscape; they love the colorful. Sometimes, I like to work with vibrant compositions, drawing from the personal style of one of my favorite photographers, Olivier Laude, esq. I take color theory into account in what I do in order to be sure the color schemes are complementary. So that's what I've tried here, and it's generated more local popularity than usual I think, in a shorter amount of time. The main thing I did for the shot was wait for the right time of evening involving a vibrant & warm sunset over an interesting landscape, frame the composition auspiciously, increase clarity, increase shadows very little to bring out detail, increase whites to bring out the ice, and there it was, an enhanced picturesque photo that is appropriate for popular photography. There's more, but that's all I've posted in photos of the day so far since getting in last night and post-processing. I hope you enjoy my work as much as I do. :) Have a great weekend!!!

HDR Stream in West Virginia

While sorting through old photographs yesterday in the archive and cleaning/rearranging files, I came across this set of bracketed landscape images with long exposures of water I took while checking out some of the historic and forgotten back roads of West Virginia. This one was off McKendree Road, considered McKendree, West Virginia (unincorporated).

McKendree Road, West Virginia

McKendree Road, West Virginia

There’s a bridge over it that water was spilling off of onto the other side. I used that shot for an altered landscapes composite project for a college assignment at the time, and this was just a lovely landscape behind it that I captured as a personal bonus.

I do not recall my exact settings on the camera for this image, but I can tell you basically how it was created:

I set up the camera on a sturdy tripod.

I bracketed 5-7 images from darker to lighter exposures.

All of the exposures were long in order to cater the water’s movement.

I merged the bracketed images during editing and performed some color corrections.

That’s it!

Late Afternoon Light

These are from the daily photo project of my son. To see the completed project, visit this site:

I had my husband and son, and also my son’s friend Jordyn, pose just before and during the late afternoons indoors and out in order to show you what types of outcomes you can get from photographing during the afternoon light. Of course, these have been edited, but the lighting and lack of shadows outdoors comes from photographing during this time. As you can see, the lighting indoors during those hours often renders dramatic lighting.