Rodney Campbell's Blog

Crimson Sunset at Mrs Macs…

by on Aug.30, 2013, under Life, Photography

I joined Gerry at Mrs Macquaries Chair on Sydney Harbour for a sunset/twilight session with Sydney’s famous Opera House and Harbour Bridge with sunset directly behind. The skies were filled with smoke haze for most of the day (presumably from some early spring burning off going on somewhere near Sydney). It was very thick and hung around for most of the day and I was hoping for some deep blood red skies during sunset and twilight because of all the particles in the atmosphere.

We met up about forty minutes before sunset to be greeted with literally hundreds of other sightseers and budding photographers sporting everything from iPads and smartphones through to serious D-SLR kits and long fast lenses.

Note: These images (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.

The sun sets fast – one moment it’s a clear orb above the horizon and then it’s dipped below – just enough time to do one BigStopper (10 stop ND) long exposure before it’s gone. A quick three minute exposure (this frame I used f/8 and ISO 200 to claw back two stops and thus ten minutes – you only get one take so your guesses need to be in the ballpark – I got lucky (exposure wise at least) :))

Stoppin’ the Opera

Stoppin' the Opera

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 21 mm, 184 sec at f/8, ISO 200

Twenty five minutes after sunset and with a long exposure making the water glassy and reflective I fumbled with this vertical composition, trying to include the lovely mossy green foreground rocks with the sweet colours we were getting in the sky silhouetting some famous Sydney landmarks.

I’m in two minds with this image… I just love the top third – I think I got super lucky with the forced long exposure (I was manually exposing longer to drag in some detail in the rocks below and hoping the three stop grad at the top would still be enough to not blow out the top – and it was and the detail and colours turned out exactly as I wanted). I also love the line of green moss covered rocks – I’m just not sure about the rest and it all working together – so I’ll let the masses decide for me 🙂

Peas ‘n Pastels

Peas 'n Pastels

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 20 mm, 123 sec at f/11, ISO 200

The sky went through an assortment of yellow, orange and peachy colours from just before sunset onwards through a range of beautiful pastels till eventually for a few moments half an hour after sunset we had an intense crimson layer sitting on the horizon with deep blues above. It only lasted minutes but was worth the wait

Crimson Coat Tails

Crimson Coat Tails

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 35 mm, 62.00 sec at f/11, ISO 100

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