Sunset Photography

This photo was a bit tricky to pull off. I had a 2 stop Graduated Neutral Density Filter mounted on my lens to darken the sky, but the foreground still was not receiving enough light to have any definition in the frame. I did a couple of experimental photos with my pop-up flash at its lowest configurable setting (via flash exposure compensation). Unfortunately, even at that flash output setting, the foreground foliage was still completely whited out by the pop-up flash.

I decided to experiment, and handheld one of my unused GND filters to the camera’s flash. I’m not sure how natural the illumination of the foreground looks in this finalized frame, but by thinking quick and “manufacturing” a flash diffuser I was able to pull together somewhat of a cohesive compensation.

Sunset Photography

Sunset at Cattus Island Park

Taken with a Canon EOS 50D, 1/250s, F/22, ISO 400. Toms River, New Jersey

2 thoughts on “Sunset Photography

  1. An inventive solution, with fine results. My Grand Canyon sunsets were a disaster, as the sky was perfectly clear and the foreground all in deep shadow. I should have thought of using the flash.


    • Ken if you ever want to fool around with GND filters to darken the sky, this is what I have. And then you have to buy the corresponding Cokin filter adapter ring to bind it to the lens, in my case this was a 77mm thread.

      But yeah, using the flash alone is worth a shot, and combining multiple exposures into an HDR is also a viable alternative to GND filters.


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