The 20-minute hike from where we parked the car to where we set up for this sunrise shot was the first time I’d ever experienced what I call the “Photographers Panic”!
It’s that feeling you get when you’re still on your way to a location and you can see the weather and light conditions are already brewing and you just want to RUN before you miss it.
A few times a year we get these burning red, fiery sunrises here in Sydney.
You can tell when they're about to happen too (which is what sets off the “panic”!).
As much as 30-40 minutes before sunrise, the sky is already glowing a dark red. And as the clock ticks closer to sunrise, the intensity of colour is continuously rising.
Until the moment the sun peeks over the horizon through a small gap in the clouds and the colour reaches its climax…
And what spent so long building up is gone in a flash when the sun goes above the gap and behind the thicker, higher clouds. All the colour is drained from the scene and you’re left with a dull, grey, rainy day to look forward to!
But that’s ok, cos you’re still buzzing from the dawn light show that mother nature just put on for you.
Excited to get your shots onto your computer and to start work in Photoshop, blending the bracketed exposures, tweaking the contrast and light levels, colours and details, to hopefully do justice to what you saw (which now feels like a dream).
And you’re in luck because you know you’ve got the tools you need to bring out the best in the images you’ve captured.
To be able to merge those bracketed exposures and create that extreme high-dynamic range image without resorting to any pot-luck blending plugins…
To subtly bring out the shadow and highlight details without creating halos all around the edges between the two…
To make the colours more how they actually looked (or how you want them to look), compared to how your camera struggled to capture them…
And to create a finished result that takes you right back to that moment when you clicked the shutter.
What are these tools I’m talking about?