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Old Sep 5, 2010, 5:06 PM   #1
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Default September Monthly Challenge

Thanks to everyone who voted for my photo in the August Challenge. Was very surprised to win!

We've had a lot of challenging challenges lately, with a wide diversity of topics that encouraged me to try something new, and grow as a photographer. So I wanted to think of another different, maybe challenging topic.

Have heard several landscape photographers talk about the "golden hour" - the time right after sunrise and right before sunset when shadows are long, light is rich, and things look almost "magical." So the topic for September is:

The Golden Hour

As usual, rules are: Pictures are to be sized 800 pixels on their longest side, be taken with a Pentax or Samsung dSLR, and be taken within the last 90 days.

PS - there is a "golden hour" calculator at this website:

http://www.golden-hour.com/
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 10:51 PM   #2
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This should be really interesting. At first glance I was thinking there would be a lot of similar shots. But the more I thought about it, this groups can get pretty creative, so I'm expecting a variety of really excellent entries.

Last edited by Lyrics51; Sep 5, 2010 at 10:52 PM. Reason: speloing mistake!
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 11:14 PM   #3
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This topic is a good one for me to get me moving. Recently I've found that rather than get up and moving by dawn, I'm much more likely to brew myself a cup of coffee and sit down in front of the computer. Now I'll have some real incentive to get out there early.
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Old Sep 6, 2010, 1:13 AM   #4
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Perfect timing ! This was taken yesterday at 17.23 (even in Summer in Shanghai it is too dark by 19.00 to take flash unaided shots) and according to Mole's calculator sunset was 18.13.

large version here : http://frogfish.smugmug.com/Shanghai...753_CLpgE-A-LB

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Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

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Old Sep 7, 2010, 3:40 PM   #5
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Default No entry

IMPORTANT: THIS IS NOT MY CURRENT ENTRY FOR THIS CHALLENGE

Well,
I took a walk yesterday evening. It's pretty cold for September this year and the evening sun was much appreciated. There wasn't much traffic on the road(s), some clear blue sky, a cloud here and there, a slight breeze now and then. Just a few steps away from a roundabout (you can see the road sign for it on the left side) and already heading home I stopped for a while to look at that scenery. The ... ummm... structure in the field, the warm light, the road to my right, that looked and felt kinda abandoned.

A quiet, warm and golden late-summer evening.

Well - I took some photos and this comes from the second try to stitch some of the images together. My problem is, that the use of a polarizer seems to affect the stitching process, the sky looks kinda "uneven" at times. I tried to overcome this effect with using a bit of postprocessing, mainly different types of local contrast enhancement.

I am still not really satisfied, but as long as I don't get a better image this will be my entry for this month. There is the warm color, the long shadows... the sun was still above the horizon but I like the overall feeling.

P.S. The 800px limitation is really bad for that kind of stuff, *sigh*.

Regards,
Th.
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Old Sep 7, 2010, 4:50 PM   #6
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Default Finnish Midnight Sun

Well here is a golden sunset for ya... taken in the evening of mid-summer's night (around 10:30 to 11:00 p.m., Jyväskylä time). This is at 800 pixels (width) and was taken June 21, so that is less than 90 days ago. The photo was taken with my Pentax K7. Hope this suffices.

All the best.

Ned

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Old Sep 7, 2010, 10:41 PM   #7
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Th - The scene is lovely and as you noticed, a polarizer has different effects depending on where the sun is in relation to the camera. Shooting at right angles to the sun (i.e., the sun on your shoulder) allows the maximum effect, while shooting either into or directly away from the sun the polarizer doesn't have much effect (acts more like a ND filter). When you shoot with a very wide angle lens or shoot a panorama, the effect varies across the scene, making the strange sky. You can try shooting manually, setting the shutter speed and aperture yourself and keeping it constant through the series, but it won't change the fact that the polarizer is going to affect the sky differently as you change position to the sun. The first time I tried to use a polarizer with the 12-24, I changed the picture to b&w because the sky was so awful (luckily the subject lent itself to it). Notice how much tonal range there is in the sky in this picture: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v3/p262811201-4.jpg and then imagine it in color, where the sky on the left is almost black and the sky on the right is fairly pale blue, you get the idea.

Ned, I really like that picture!
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 12:35 AM   #8
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@Ira
Ah - the morning sun... too much clouds today at my place so couldn't do something similar The image nearly caused me to screw up my eyes. It's not really sharp and stuff (at least for me) but it gets you the feeling to say so.

@Eetu
That's a keeper! Great feeling and nice job for exposure etc. The boat adds that lil' something, too.

@mtngal
Thanks for discussing that problem with me. I shoot manually for panoramas anyway in most cases so I can use stitching software with less sophisticated blending algorithms. Taking into account what you said and what I experienced I think I'll try to set the polarizer manually for each shot and stay at the fixed camera settings otherwise. Maybe I can also shoot at different polarizer settings and combine the images? Kind of a HDR/stack thingie? Should be interesting to experiment here.

Regards,
Th.
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Old Sep 10, 2010, 5:38 AM   #9
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Will try to resist temptation to comment on each, so as not to bias voting, but...

Some really great photos already! Looking forward to seeing more of how this lovely light "paints" landscapes, and other subjects too!
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Old Sep 10, 2010, 11:20 PM   #10
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Default Bothell Landing

Technically this was taken during the golden hour although it is not showing off the best of that lighting. It has been overcast a lot here lately and is going to be like for at least another week so I am making the best with what I have.

Edit: I am removing the photo as I have posted a new entry.

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