Two Secrets to Great Sunset Images




Two Secrets to Great Sunset Images

  1. Don’t actually take pictures of the sunset!
  2. WAIT!!

Yup, that’s it.

You’ve been there, you are on vacation at some tropical paradise and everyone gathers to watch the sunset, maybe even see the “Green Flash” but as soon as the sun goes below the horizon everyone leaves because supposedly the main event is over.  (I know you have done this!)

Sure, now you have a picture of the big yellow ball of fire on the horizon, but the magic is just beginning and it is called Twilight, that magical time between day and night.

There are technically three phases of Twilight.

Civil Twilight- This is the brightest phase of twilight and it lasts when the sun just dips below the horizon until it is 6 degrees below.  The light tends to have very soft hues of yellows and pinks giving images that “glow.”  Be very focused during this phase because the light will be changing rapidly.   During Civil Twilight it is possible to take pictures without a tripod.

Nautical Twilight- This phase occurs when the Sun is between 6 and 12 degrees below the horizon.  Primary colors are deep blue.  This is the time frame when the balance of natural light and city lights becomes a potential object of focus.   A tripod is necessary during Nautical Twilight.

Astronomical Twilight- This phase occurs when the Sun is between 12 and 18 degrees below the horizon.   Night occurs quickly during this phase.  Here cityscapes really can stand out.  The sky will still have some light, but it is very dark blue.  The brightest stars and planets are also visible during this phase.    A tripod is necessary during Astronomical Twilight.

This series of images was taken in Waikiki this past October.  Each picture is separated by about 15 minutes!  During the time frame when the sun was actually setting there were all kinds of people in my location including another photographer taking wedding pictures.  As soon as the sun set everybody left (Which is fine by me!).  That is when the show really got interesting if you ask me!!  Also of note, I am actually facing opposite the sunset.  Choose an interesting subject like a cool looking tree, a building, moving water etc. and then wait for the sky to change colors!

Lastly, I hope my blog entry will inspire you to think differently about sunset pictures.  Getting these types of images takes commitment because it will be long after dinnertime and you will have to lug around a heavy bulky tripod.  Hopefully you will come away with some unique images and be the envy of your Facebook friends!

I hope you enjoy.

Ethan

www.EthanTweedie.com

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The Pink Hotel – Royal Hawaiian Waikiki


I was in Waikiki to photograph Diamond Head for a private client and as I walked by the Royal Hawaiian the clouds and sky were so dramatic.

What is it about the Royal Hawaiian Hotel that brings a smiles to people’s faces? Nostalgia of old Hawaii, the color of the hotel, the Mai Tais? Whatever it is, it is a beautiful hotel right on the beach in Waikiki.

I have never stayed at the hotel, have any of you?

Here is a brief history of the hotel.

One of the first hotels established in Waikiki, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel is considered one of the flagship hotels in Hawaii tourism. It opened its doors to guests on 1 February 1927 with a black tie gala attended by over 1,200 guests. The hotel quickly became an icon of Hawaii’s glory days. It was the Hawaii residence or Western White House of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and boasts the bar that invented the Shirley Temple cocktail (as does Chasen’s restaurant).
The Royal Hawaiian closed on 1 June 2008 for a complete renovation. The property reopened on 20 January 2009[1] as a member of The Luxury Collection Resort division of Starwood Hotels.

I hope you enjoy.

Ethan
www.EthanTweedie.com
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Diamond Head and Waikiki

This 760-foot tuff crater is one of Hawaii’s most famous landmarks and one of my favorite places to hike.  I didn’t get a chance to hike it this trip, but if you are on Oahu you need to put that on your list of things to do!  Go early in the day as it gets hot climbing the 175 steps and zig zagging trail.  If you are afraid of the dark I would bring a flashlight too.  You will be rewarded with one of the best views on the island.

Known as Leahi (brow of the tuna) in Hawaiian, the crater was named Diamond Head by 19th century British sailors who thought they discovered diamonds on the crater’s slopes. These “diamonds” were actually shiny calcite crystals that had no value.   Another story I have heard is there used to be a Chinese Produce store nearby and they used to sell cabbage for “dime a head!!”  Ok, I know that is cheesy, but it is still funny.

Diamond Head Crater was formed during the Honolulu Volcanic Series or post erosional phase of volcanism.   Diamond Head was built by hydromagmatic explosions that ripped through 200,000 year old coral reefs and Ko‘olau basalt. As a result, you can see pieces of coral mixed in the tuff of the cone! The eruption most likely occurred in a very short period of time from days to perhaps a month.

I hope you enjoy.

Ethan

www.EthanTweedie.com

Follow me on Twitter!!

Become a fan on Facebook! http://on.fb.me/9V8NYe

EthanTweedie@gmail.com

808-938-4665