Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Getting Up Early

Sunrise at Furman

All of the landscape photography books say that you should plan to get up early so you can catch the sunrise and the morning's "magic hour". When I was covering the Greenville Scottish Games, I was told to be there around 6 am. The sun had already risen, but wasn't yet visible due to nearby Paris Mountain. It didn't take long for it to climb above Paris Mountain though, and give a nice silhouette effect to some of the trees on the Furman University campus. The colors in this image are due to using a Shady White Balance setting when processing the image. There was a bit more blue in the sky at the time. However, I thought the extra warmth (i.e. orange and yellow tones) that the Shady White Balance setting adds to an image provided a better overall color palette.

When I process my images, I usually try a variety of White Balance settings to determine which might be the better match for how I want the image to appear. Sometimes it helps to get the White Balance perfect. Other times, the White Balance can add a creative choice of color tonalities to an image. It depends on what you want or need the image to do.

Of course, I wasn't really needed to photograph anything so early in the morning. I am glad that I did arrive that early though. I was able to get this photograph and a couple of behind-the-scenes photographs of people finishing preparations for the games that I would not have been able to get otherwise.

Keep shooting.


Pixel Peeper said...

Love the all gold in this picture - you certainly proved it was worth getting up early!

I really should learn my photo editing software better. I didn't know you could adjust white balance in post processing. Wonder if Elements has that feature?

Thanks for the tip - I'll have to look now!

Craig Lee said...

I shoot almost entirely in Raw files rather than JPEG files. There are a few reasons for that one of which is that White Balance is just another setting that can be changed in software. By contrast, camera settings like White Balance are "baked" into a JPEG file. While it is possible to adjust white balance in a JPEG image, it is usually much easier to do so with a Raw file.