Friday, January 25, 2013

The Last Frost Flower Friday

Taken December 6, 11, & 13, 2013.

Click image to see larger version


  1. Morning all. Given Candis' comment, I'm swearing off talking about winter temps. -40 windchill -- yikes!

  2. Oh look, the frost flowers are shooting the bird at Candis. ;p

    Andi & Larry: I was using a Nikon D90. This is probably the best shot of the bad batch I took because at least I got some of the sunset colors, but several colors that were in the sky didn't make it into the digital image, and the blurriness gets bad down near the treeline just above where the sun was setting. Do I really need a tripod for that kind of snap (there seemed to be enough light still), or would I be better served with a higher end lens? I really appreciate your sage advice, thanks.

    Good day to everyone.

  3. You probably don't need a tripod but it will always help low light shots to use one. The iso is definitely fast enough so you don't need to change that. One possibility on the colors is that you need to adjust your white balance. Larry's advice on exposure was good. You could also use focus lock so you could let the camera focus on something with a defined shape and then shoot the sky. And you could try different lens/focal lengths/f-stops.

  4. The frost flowers look sad, like they know they're the last.

    Jen, you got close. It might actually be a little overexposed for a sunset shot, which is why some of the colors washed out. This is what I'd do in your situation, since you have a DSLR: point straight up at the sky, let auto-focus get it right, then turn off auto-focus. That will keep your "infinity" focus point from changing. It doesn't matter if the foreground's fuzzy, you want that de-emphasized anyway since you're shooting at sunset colors. I also use full manual mode, and deliberately underexpose, that brings out the colors better. My camera (a Canon EOS 40D) has a display in the viewfinder that shows the camera's best guess at the exposure level, and I aim for -1 stop or something close.

    Here's two examples on my blawg: Planet Georgia and Florida west coast. I think the latter was a 2-stop underexposure.

    Oh, and my #FridayFlash today was "inspired" by the local weather dudes hyping up yet another winter storm that is so far doing nothing. Maybe this winter is suffering from performance anxiety or something. :-P

  5. Thank you both for saying things I actually understand! :) I'll play around with both of your suggestions. Larry, your linked images are gorgeous.

  6. One thing that Jim and I noticed is that the shutter speed is very slow at 1/30 which is difficult to do handheld. I looked at several of my sunset shots and none of them are that slow. They are mostly in 1/60 sec with a couple as fast as 1/125 and only one close to yours at 1/40. All of my sunset shots are at ISO 400. If you are shooting manual or shutter priority, you can change the shutter setting to something faster. This will make your image darker but you can brighten it in your editing software. Or you may be able to go to a bit more open aperture to keep it from getting too dark.

  7. Thanks, Jen!

    Andi, if I remember correctly, I use a wide aperture (around f/4 or f/5.6) for sunset shots. It blurs the foreground nicely, if I can't shoot around it, and allows for faster shutter speeds.