Joined two fellow photographers (Ali and Sabine) for a sunset and evening light painting session at Kirribilli on the northern side of Sydney Harbour opposite the Sydney Opera House and the city.
We’d planned to shoot sunset (with the sun setting to the right of us behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge) and then do some light painting with the Opera House, City and Harbour Bridge as our background.
Along the harbour foreshore at Kirribilli there is a nice little stone jetty sticking out into the water and I was hoping we could frame things up nicely with some light painting later on out on the stone jetty itself.
By the time I’d arrived at 6:30PM (over an hour before sunset) Ali was already hard at work. It was very overcast with particularly fast moving clouds streaking through the sky away from us towards the city. It was BigStopper time and I figured I’d go for broke with a stitched long exposure panorama.
I wanted a more telephoto feel (so that the city and bridge weren’t just tiny ribbons along the horizon) so I shot a large number of frames at a longer 48mm focal length (on full frame).
Shooting two minute exposures with my Lee 3 stop grad along with the 10 stop ND, the light levels were going all over the place with the sun intermittently coming in and out of the overcast clouds. I ended up going back and reshooting many of the individual frames and adjusting my ISO between 100 and 400 “by feel” to try and get relatively consistent exposures for the frames.
Truth be told I held very little hope that this was going to work and by 7:15 after having spent nearly 45 minutes taking 16 frames I practically gave it up as a lost cause. Back in Lightroom I selected the best nine adjoining frames and adjusted them as best I could for consistency and let Photoshop have a crack at them. Much to my surprise… it worked… with heavily overcast conditions there was very little colour and the sky is a bit meh but here we have…
Note: These photographs (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.
Longing for Kirribilli