Liberty Sunset

Here’s another photo taken from a moving boat. I seem to have a bad habit for doing that. This one was taken on one of the Liberty Island Ferries as we left the island to go back to Liberty State Park. It was a good thing I had a zoom lens, because I wouldn’t have been able to frame the shot so well without it. I didn’t have much time to think about this one because the boat was moving off to the right of the frame and I would soon lose the sun over the island composition. I zoomed to fit the width of the island and aimed to set the vertical center right between the sun and the horizon. I didn’t want the water to be too overpowering, but I didn’t want all sky either. I took three shots. The first one had the sun right over the flag and the third one had the sun off the island. Number two turned out just where I wanted it. I was actually surprised the shot turned out so well shooting directly into the sun — no spots or flares.

My Dad might come around trying to claim credit for the shot because he thought it was all his idea. So if you see some crazy guy commenting about it, you’ll all know why. He’s just mad that his battery died 2 seconds prior as he was framing the shot. Too bad buck-o! I win!

Liberty Sunset

The editing on this photo was very minimal, with mostly color adjustments. The JPEG (1) turned out a little too bright for my taste — good thing I shoot RAW too. After processing the RAW image (2) through ACR for temperature and exposure, I had to do a little rotating and cropping. Since I was on a boat, the shot didn’t turn out exactly horizontal, so I used the measure tool to lay down a line where I thought the horizon should be, and I let Photoshop calculate how much rotation to apply. Then I had to crop off the extra bits after the rotate. At this stage, I also did a tiny little touchup — there’s an airplane making a bit of a vapor trail in the sky, so I cloned it out. I had the color temperature I basically wanted, but it lacked saturation. So rather than increasing the saturation, I went to LAB mode for a little tweaking. I applied a curves adjustment layer while in LAB mode, and made adjustments to each channel individually (3). I’ll have to write about the method I used sometime, but basically I squeezed the A and B channels in by 10% on the low and high sides while doing a slight “S” curve on the Lightness channel to help the contrast. Squeezing the A & B channels (as I’ve termed it) basically increases the saturation without creating the same artifacts you get from increasing the saturation directly — like color noise and color clipping. After this, I considered sharpening as long as I was in LAB mode, but it didn’t look that great on the water so I left it out. Converted back to RGB and saved a final copy. I have to mention, I also saved a copy of the PSD file before I converted to LAB and before I converted back to RGB. When you convert, you have to flatten and you lose all your non-destructive editing. It’s a good idea to keep your editing history at hand.

Liberty Sunset

Photo by Brian Auer
11/05/06 New York, NY
Liberty Sunset
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D
Konica Minolta AF DT 18-200
90mm equiv * f/11 * 1/250s * ISO100

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About Brian Auer

a photography enthusiast from North Idaho. He's also the guy behind the Epic Edits Weblog. As a hobbyist photographer since 2003, his passion has been to constantly improve his photography skill set, to share his own knowledge with others, and to become an integral part of the photographic community.

6 thoughts on “Liberty Sunset

  1. bestgramps

    This is one of many photos I have given you. Think of me as your teacher young son. lucky for you my battery died that day. If you remember I had to yell at you to take the picture. You said that it wouldn’t come out shooting into the sun. Always listen to your parents as they are always right. The final product looks just as I invisioned and would have edited it exactly the same.

  2. Papa

    Fathers know best, but Grandfathers advice is the ultimate and I agree with your father. I’m glad you took the picture.

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