Friday, June 10, 2011

Tips for capturing the best photos at twilight...

Twilight is my favorite time to take pictures, the sky is absolutely magical in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada! Twilight lasts for a short time, it's key to be be ready and in place for pictures! This was actually my parting shot. I didn't want to leave, the scene was incredibly beautiful to me. It's tricky shooting anchored boats. As other boats pass by, the ripples from the water are magnified into big waves that I had to just wait out. I liked the mirror perfect reflections caused by the long exposure and great weather conditions. There is slight movement with some of the boats in the photo, but it adds to the realism, and I'm happy with the end result!

How to shoot at twilight:
  • Scout out locations first.  It's easier to find potential compositions before the sun goes down.
  • Exposures will be long, you'll need a sturdy tripod. I use a Feisol CT-3442 which weighs 2.31 lbs and folds down to 19 inches. Perfect for travel and everyday use.  
  • Keep it level. Use Live View or place a bubble level on the hotshoe of your camera,
  • Cable release or self timer feature. The exposure was 60 seconds long, the Bulb feature helped with the timed exposure. I shot this with the Nikon D7000 that I'm giving a whirl for travel, along with the Nikon 28-300mm lens. Beautiful combination, and this lens is fabulous on the D3s!  
  • White balance.  Try starting with 4000K, or Daylight (5000K) to see how it looks with your scene. White balance isn't etched in granite, you may like the look of a given setting although it's not "technically correct." Experiment, and see what works best for your composition.
  • Manual exposure. Set the aperture for the desired depth of field, and decide how long the exposure will need to be. You may even want to make a series of exposures for HDR. Or, think about putting together a panorama of the scene!
  • Wait for the "blue hour." You may want to shoot during and after sunset, then wait for beautiful blue quality of balanced light in between daylight and darkness.
  • There's an app for that. Light Tracker, Helios, Velaclock, Sunrise & Set, and for tracking stars on the iPad try Sky Walk. 
  • Lost the light, no worries. Go for a classic black and white image with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2!
  • Be inventive. Think about creative lens choices or angles, Make your shot different and unique!
Have fun shooting! I hope to see you in a future seminar, workshop or online course. You can check my Event's page to see what's coming up next. ~ Deb