Seagull Sunset

I enjoy a great sunset very much. I know that photographers sometimes dislike such simple scenes. Maybe this is due to that it is really easy to capture a sunset.

If you have a normal DSLR or even a compact camera, you can just pick it up and take a shot in automatic mode, without any adjustments. There will be a kind of dark border, some silhouettes, a grand orange part, some blue and violet, possibly a lot of colours. There will also be the sun. You can never capture the sun with a correct exposure, it is just too bright. Well, you can, but you need some dense grey filters in front of the lens to succeed.

The very hard part of such a photograph is the sun. On digital cameras you are likely to get some green or yellow borders around the sun. You might not expect that, and that is correctly understood. The borders happen because there are saturations of the red and/or green channels in the image – remember that our eyes have green, red and blue sensitive elements – and so does the camera sensor. So, what to do about this? It is not easy, but you can take a shot only at the sun with much less exposure to be able to capture the “corona”. You can then assemble the two images together in Photoshop. It is not easy, but it can be done. Or, you can use an analog camera – it has “graceful” saturation in the highlights.

In this photograph, there is a corona around the sun, a bit further away to mimic what can happen a day with a slight haze or fog. It adds to the overall apperance of the shot. The sun is a little diffuse due to the thin clouds in the sky.

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