The last few days (when I haven't had a chance to go out shooting) there have been some nice sunsets in Seattle, followed by some rich blue skies after sunset. With it being the weekend I was anxious to get out and try to catch some of that light when I could. But as these things work out when I left the house about an hour before sunset it didn't look like I was going to get a repeat of the previous few days - such is life.
I'm still learning Seattle, and where best to shoot. I decided to venture to the western shores of Seattle where I know there's a park. When I first arrived I considered just returning home - with the skies a bit lackluster and the beach looking a bit dull I wasn't too inspired. I ended up walking a ways down the beach until I found some old pier pilings sticking out of the water and running up onto the beach. I saw long exposure shots in my head right away and set up my tripod on the beach.
This shot ended up being my last of the evening, and was taken a few minutes after sunset, so the color remained in the sky without worrying about blown out highlights. To achieve the long exposure shooting directly into the sun I used an ND400 (9-stop) ND Filter, a 2-stop hard-edged filter along the horizon, and possibly (I can't exactly recall every combination I used) a 2-stop soft-edge filter at the top (that's 13-stops of neutral density at the top if you're counting along). The overall effect is actually much darker than I expected though I quite like the effect of the darkly vignetted perimeter.
I think what I like about this shot is similar to what I like about my shot posted from Seattle last weekend - to the naked eye there didn't seem to be a lot going on to work with, but I think I managed to make a fun shot out of it.
Nikon D90 | Sigma firstname.lastname@example.org | f/9 | 30s | ISO200 | Tripod
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