All posts tagged freeze

The sunrises in the posts before the previous one (the one with the ferries) were shot on Tuesday 7th of February. I was well in time, well before the Civil Twilight set in. I was on location at around 7:15 am and it was still dark. Then I planned to go shoot another sunrise with a friend of mine on Friday 10th (the pictures below are from that day). He asked me what time we should meet, and with the “7:15 still dark” in the back of my mind I told him between 7:00 and 7:15 would be just fine. But then Friday came and I was driving down to the location and Civil Twilight had already set in around 7:05. We missed the prettiest part, unfortunately 🙁
So within three days Civil Twilight had come about 20 minutes earlier…

Not all was lost, though, and even though the sunrise itself wasn’t as spectacular as the Tuesday before, the images still came out nice.
And there’s one of the moonset, too, which happened to be at the same time, in the same location, but then on the other side. I considered trying a 270° panorama, with both sunrise and moonset in one picture, but didn’t do it in the end. You’ll have to make do with separates.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/10 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 14-24mm

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm

Lauttasaari moonset

D700, ISO200, 1 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm (two images merged in Photoshop)


I didn’t realize when I was out there, that I was so close to the route of the cruise liners that go to Estonia and Sweden from Helsinki. So it was a nice surprise when they came by.

Cruise liner going to Sweden

D700, ISO200, 30 sec @ f/22, Nikkor 70-200mm

The next one was a bit more complicated. I had to run close to the water and set up 14 flashes which I could remotely trigger, so that the ship was lit up sufficiently. I nearly drowned in the process, but I survived.

Cruise liner going to Tallinn, Estonia

D700, ISO200, 1/60 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm

Okok… I lied… I didn’t use flashes, I did it in post-processing 😉

I can just hear you think: “Pff… That guy is ranting all the time about how not to overdo it with the saturation sliders and all, and look at him, totally out of control there!”

But no. I wasn’t. What you see here, is pretty much what I saw out there. It was beautiful. It was breath-taking. It was like the sky was ignited. I took the last image from the previous blog post. Check it out from the screenshots below, and you’ll see that I didn’t touch the saturation sliders to saturate the colors. I even DEsaturated the blues slightly.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/20sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm.

What you see above here is the original. The untouched, unedited RAW file. I underexposed it on purpose, because I didn’t want to blow out the shades in and around the sun. Shooting in RAW will give you so much leverage that you can easily underexpose with a few stops without the risk of screwing up your image.

I imported the image in Lightroom, where I tweaked it slightly. The screenshot below shows I didn’t touch the saturation sliders. Just the lens correction, some fill light and some clarity, which made the image look like this:

Lauttasaari sunrise

The original image after some minor adjustments in Lightroom

After that I opened it up in Photoshop. The first thing I did was pull up a curves adjustment layer and gave it some more contrast:

Lauttasaari sunrise

A curves adjustment layer to give the image a bit more contrast for that little punch

See what that does to the color? This would almost go for a saturation increase, wouldn’t it? That’s what contrast typically does to a picture, it gives it that little extra punch that makes it from flat into… well… flamboyant 😀

The next thing I did, that’s a personal thing, I guess, is desaturate the snow at the bottom. Even if the dark clouds above reflected their deep blue hue in the snow, and it really looked blue, I don’t really fancy it. So I made that look a lot less blue (as I did in all the images from the previous blog post. I think in the first one it shows most clearly).

Lauttasaari sunrise

A hue/saturation adjustment layer including layer mask to desaturate the blue tone from the snow in the bottom part of the image.

And finally a levels adjustment layer, also for the snow at the bottom part, to lighten it up a bit so it didn’t look too grey. Be careful not to lighten it up too much, otherwise it’ll look unnatural with the rest of the image.

Lauttasaari sunrise

A levels adjustment layer to brighten up the snow a tad bit, so that it doesn't look grey after desaturating the blue.

So there you have it. The end result. No out of control saturation stuff. Just the way it was. And gorgeous it was! Worth withstanding the cold every second.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/20 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm