How I created this award winning image
During an incredible sunset on the west coast of Florida, I was amazed by the lone cloud formation in the foreground and how it added depth and interest to the scene. Then, when part of the formation started to rain out, I knew it would make an interesting photograph.
This was part of a shoot during this amazing sunset that included over a hundred exposures. I started shooting the sunset at 7:40pm and ended at 8:12pm EDT. This photo was late in the sunset at 8:01 pm EDT on August 27, 2015. I shot this from a balcony, 100 feet above the beach at Naples, Florida. Coordinates: 26°15’41” N 81°49’29” W.
The equipment I used for the shot
- Canon EOS 5D Mark III
- EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
- Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod
- Manfrotto Ball Head
- Canon Timer Remote Controller TC-80N3
The final HDR image was composed from five exposures from-2v to +2ev. I used manual focus and aperture priority mode.
Here are the five photos I shot and used to create the final image:
The longest of the exposures was 8 seconds. The shortest was 0.5 seconds. This gave the image an unusual and dramatic look, capturing and blurring the motion of the clouds and rain.
I used Photomatix Pro to build a tone mapped image from the five shots using a preset that I’ve perfected over the last few years. Then, I did a little bit of Photoshop to remove some dots that the raindrops on my lens filter added to the image.
The result is a dramatic sunset image with soft pastel-like colors and good detail at the same time.