Your Go-To Camera

*** myPhotoWalk — Photo Tech Talk ***

What do you do when the sky is suddenly lighting up with the beautiful glow of an amazing sunset and you are stuck at home? You look out the window and you see that it’s absolutely spectacular, but you’re not in a place free of obstructions to capture the grand landscape. There are only minutes to spare. Is there any hope of capturing an image?

I grabbed my little Sony A6000 mirrorless camera and decided to give it a try. I ran out in front of my house, and walked up and down my sidewalk to see if there was any hope for a composition. I wanted to capture the pinks and purples of the clouds against the deep blue sky. It’s what some photographers call the “blue hour” and happens during the “golden hour” of good light for capturing beautiful images. To me, the blue hour is where the sky turns a deep blue and casts a blue hue all over the landscape. But there is a certain moment before everything goes blue when the pinks and purples glow in the clouds. That’s the moment I wanted to capture and it’s why I chose my Sony mirrorless camera. I knew I would only have minutes before all that color would vanish.

When I need fast and “in-the-moment” composition, the Sony A6000 is my go-to camera, especially with the Zeiss 16-70mm lens. It’s not that I can’t shoot the image with my Nikon D810. If I can only have one camera in my arsenal, I will always choose the Nikon D810. The possibilities in that camera are incredibly powerful. I love working with it out in the field, creating different exposures, shooting bracketed images, and experimenting with composition. It really is almost like a medium format camera in terms of pixels and capture. I think every photographer uses their cameras and lenses in unique ways that work best for them. For me, my Nikon D810 is my camera of choice in shooting landscapes, wildlife, and macro flower photography. I have special lenses I use for each of those image captures — Nikkor 24-120mm and Nikkor 50mm for landscapes, Nikkor 80-400mm for wildlife, and Micro-Nikkor 200mm for macro flower photography. However, the Nikon D810 is a big camera and requires care and attention and most often, the use of my Gitzo tripod as well.

But for this quick sunset shot, I had only minutes before all the glow would disappear, so I had to go fast, go handheld without a tripod, and just get out there and see if I could capture an image. The Sony A6000 was my camera of choice. The sensor on my Sony is amazing and I love using it to capture landscapes and even street photography.

So now, with the Sony in hand, composition was my biggest challenge overcoming the rooftops, street lamps, and telephone poles of my housing development. So I was looking for a tree that might have interest in the foreground. I found a tree with interesting branches and then saw that if I stood just south of the tree there was a huge bougainvillea bush directly in front of it. The two together almost looked like an island out in the South Pacific with a beautiful sunset glowing behind it. I captured a number of images but this was my favorite of all of them.

In post-processing this image, I had to deal with quite a bit of noise in the sky and used Topaz DeNoise along with a layer mask in Adobe Photoshop to brush it out. Then I increased the hues using the Brilliance/Warmth filter in Nik Color Efex. I added a vignette and then used just a touch of the painterly Topaz Impression filter. And there you have it — a capture of the sunset right outside my front door.

So grab your Go-To Camera and walk outside right where you live to capture that emergency shot. You might be surprised how many beautiful images are just steps away.

♥ Blessings and Grace to You!


myPhotoWalk Devotional

The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
Psalm 32:8

myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: When The Sky Lights Up
  • Description: A beautiful desert sunset in Palm Desert, CA, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 04/22/16
  • Camera: Sony A6000, Zeiss 16-70mm, FL 51mm, ISO 3200, f/8, 1/50sec.
  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk PhotoShoot in Palm Desert, CA, USA.
  • Post-Processing: Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, Nik Software, Topaz Software, On1 Photo 10 Software.
  • Copyright ©2017 Catherine Martin – myPhotoWalk™ – Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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