Last night was the monthly meeting of a local photography club that I’m associated with. We wanted to start the night off shooting but the location ended up being a bit of a last minute decision. To further complicate things we only had about 30 minutes of daylight so it had to be pretty close to our meeting location. On a whim, I contacted the Principal of a local school, Garfield elementary. They have a small nature area that turned out to be just the ticket. The club members have varied interests but I think that most everyone found at least a little something to shoot.
I could see that there was color starting to develop in the sky so I went off in search of a scene to use it with. I like anchoring my scene with a strong foreground object so when I found this granite bolder I went to work. The nature area is a little pocket of green in a suburban neighborhood. I had to find an angle that got me the color in the sky, the rock in the foreground but hid “the hand of man.” I settled on this spot and couldn’t be happier with the shot. I’d never have guess that I’d get this sort of shot this close to home.
On to the details. I was, once again, using my Canon 5D and 24-70 f/2.8L at 24mm. My exposure was 1 second at f/11 and ISO 400. I raised the ISO because there was a bit of a breeze and I wanted to compensate for at least some of the movement in the foreground grasses. The sky was a couple stops “hotter” than the foreground so I used a Singh-Ray 2 stop soft graduated neutral density filter to bring it down.
Back on the computer I processed the RAW file twice. One for the foreground and another 1 stop darker to bring out the sky. I blended the two images together in Photoshop, using a luminosity mask, and added some sharpening.
Not bad for a Thursday night less than a mile from my house.