Posts tagged “#magic hour”

Hazy blue sky

October 26, 2011 10:00 am HKT No comments

20111026 Hazy blue sky - 1

The shot (Photo 1) here was an original. The very saturated blue and orange colors are the result of the tungsten WB setting. The red light box is definitely the other important element that draws your attention. In fact, you can only capture this kind of scene at the magic hour, when the sky is extra blue, provided that you are around shops lit with floodlights. But keep in mind that this kind of photo may be ruined if part of it is blown out (shown by the reference photo). Even if you find an amazing scene similar to the ones here, take great care in preventing lit areas from getting overexposed. You can do this either by adjusting the shutter speed/aperture or by re-composing to avoid those blown out areas included in your photo.

Photo 2 was taken a bit later than Photo 1, when the sky got a bit darker. In fact, this city, Shanghai, is “famous” for its hazy sky throughout the year. But this is nothing to be worried about. If you just wait for the magic hour, you can find this blue background so you can take the shots you want.

20111026 Hazy blue sky - 2

20111026 Hazy blue sky (Reference Photo)

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Reference Photo
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1
Lens EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM 1 1 1

Get the best of light

August 24, 2011 10:00 am HKT No comments

20110824 Get the best of light

Photo 1 and Photo 2 were taken during one late afternoon in the Central District of Hong Kong. These photos have been put in one of my videos recently. The reason for their second appearance here is that the light shed on the subjects of these photos is considered the best, and it is this light that is the theme of this particular blog. On any given sunny day there are certain moments, including the hour after sunrise, that are called the golden moments or the magic hours.

20110824 Get the best of light - 1

20110824 Get the best of light - 2

Not all the photos taken at these magic hours are good though. It depends on how the light is shed on your subjects. The most common advice is to position the sun at your back. That means your subject will be lit by a low front light. In my opinion, side light is as good as front light, as shown by the lighting effect in Photo 1. People in this photo were waiting for the green light to cross the road, while I took the risk of standing somewhere in the middle of the road to find the best angle for the shot.

I like Photo 2 in particular because it looks somewhat like I planned the shot though it was shot by mere chance. All of the people there seemed like they were posing for me and the light looked so artificial. The funny thing is I just happened to capture this “moment” while I was sitting in a tram passing by. It was also a rare scene because the sunlight was like some kind of tungsten light modified by a barn door, narrowing down to an angle that only covered the desired area. This was done “magically” by all those buildings in the neighborhood, which worked well to block a part of the afternoon sunlight.

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1
Lens EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM 1 1

Last light of the sun

April 27, 2011 10:00 am HKT No comments

20110427 Last light of the sun

I always find myself running out of time when shooting landscape photos. It is time consuming waiting for the perfect sunlight and it takes extra effort to take magic hour photos to get the best results. The fact is if you are on a trip in a foreign country, it seems that so many things are there for you to capture, you might worry about missing something along the way. So you end up busily taking pictures on the road but forget about the whole magic hour.

I find it really crucial to remind myself to get ready for the magic hour before it is too late, which means sparing at least 30 to 45 minutes for my magic hour shots. This is because something interesting may come up at the site, which can make beautiful pictures with the magic hour scene.

20110427 Last light of the sun (Final Image)

20110427 Last light of the sun(Trial Photo) - 1

I found this restaurant by chance when I was getting ready for my magic hour landscape shots. As you can imagine, I decided in an instant to shoot the restaurant at the magic hour instead. I tried to capture the contrast between the surreal blue coming from the landscape and skyline background and the warm candle light for that matter. I tried to figure out the best composition for the shot before the sky got too dark to be shot. What you can see here is the result I got (the final image). After the magic hour was gone, you can only shoot photos like the trial photo shown here.

Anyway, it would look better if the sky is a bit brighter. Sometimes it is useful to let the flash help out. I found seaside restaurant the next day but I missed the magic hour. The sky got too dark but I still wanted to make a try. I put my V5-flash at the right to light up the tables (as shown in reference photo 2), yet the sky was too dark so the result was not that good.

20110427 Last light of the sun (Reference Photo) - 1

20110427 Last light of the sun (Reference Photo)_Cactus v5 - 2

Equipment Setup

Final image Trial photo Reference photo 1 Reference photo 2
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM 1 1 1 1
Flash Cactus KF 36 Manual Flash 1
Flash Transceiver Cactus V5 Wireless Flash Transceiver Duo 1
Light Stand Light Stand 1