Getting The Shot – Salton Sea Sunrise
I’m going to try something new here. Usually I talk about some technique and build up to getting a shot with that technique. In this series I am going to show you a picture I took and then explain the technique used to get it. It’s fairly similar except that before I would do a shot specifically to demonstrate a technique while this series will take an image that I had previously created and then explain the technique on how I got it. Hopefully that makes sense and if you like this approach, please tell me in the comments so I know whether or not to continue doing this type of article.
The image I am starting off with is Sunrise on the Salton Sea which pretty much describes the image pretty well as it was taken just after sunrise on the west bank of the Salton Sea (specifically 20 minutes after sunrise). The sun casts a dramatic reflection all the way across the water while a dead palm tree and the shore line add some additional detail.
Making the image
The image itself is fairly simple as there are no extra lights used and virtually no post processing. The image is pretty much as it appeared in camera.
Of course, shooting into the Sun may not be the easiest task unless you have a neutral gradient filter but none was used on this shot. In fact, I didn’t even use optimal camera settings as I had changed them on accident and couldn’t see that I had changed the ISO setting in the viewfinder as I was trying not to go blind from looking at the Sun.
The ISO should have been at 100 but ended up being at 400 and the first attempt was at 1/1600th and f/5.6 and came out pretty overexposed.
The second attempt was a little better as I adjusted the settings to f/11 at 1/1600th. This was a pretty good image but the rays on the Sun were not very pronounced and I was picking up too much detail in the foreground.
In order to kill off the detail in the foreground a faster shutter speed was needed so I pushed it to 1/2000th. To pick up more detail from the Sun less aperture was needed so I closed it down to f/22. In Adobe Lightroom just a touch of Vibrance, Setting the Camera Calibration to Camera Standard, and adding a touch of Sharpness where all the post production that was done.
Again the final image and settings show that you can actually shoot straight into the Sun and pull off a nice image without any additional hardware or heavy post processing.
Camera: Canon 50D