A Colorful Winter Sunset at Our House

The other day, I got home just as the sun was going down. There had been some clouds, but there were just enough breaks that the sun was peeking through slightly. So I did what any photographer/blogger/webmaster would do and ran inside to get my camera, hoping to capture something good before the sun went down completely. Here’s what I got. What do you think?

Colorful Winter Sunset

As you can see, there really wasn’t that much of the sun to be seen, because the clouds were still rather heavy down near the horizon. But there was a good bit of orange in the sky around the sun, which made for a nice contrast with the clouds. Considering it had been a rainy day, it was nice to see any sun at all.

Plus, the clouds were somewhat intense, or at least they appear to be here in the photo. They really were not all that threatening, but they did look pretty dark. Still, you can see that there was already quite a bit of blue in between the clouds. And there are a few spots of purple in the clouds, too. Add in the green and yellow tones of the winter grass (and dead summer grass), and you have quite the combination of colors going on here. If I were a painter, this is just the sort of colorful scene I would try to paint.

Also, it was nice to have the fisheye lens on my camera to be able to capture quite a bit of that impressive sky. A zoom lens would have allowed me to zoom in a bit on the area of the sky where the sun was, but I like this wide view that shows even more of what was going on. That wasn’t the lens that was on my camera when I grabbed it, but thankfully it was just a quick change to get the lens that I wanted.

This was actually my second attempt at a sunset photo. My first attempt was a quick photo with my phone, and you can see it here:

Colorful Winter Sunset - iPhone version

It was a good effort, particularly since I used the Lightroom app and shot in Raw mode, which enabled me to edit the photo a good bit later on. If that had been the only camera that I had access to at the time, it would have been fine. But looking back on it all now, I am glad that I thought to run inside the house and get my “real” camera. The wider angle, the better processing - it was worth it.

All of that makes me think about how I should probably stick my camera bag in the car with me more often, so that I would have it whenever the need might arise, such as if I were to see a cool sunset like this when I was someplace other than home. Because it is a mirrorless camera, the whole outfit (camera body and three lenses) is rather small. The only issue would be to keep it somewhere that it could not be easily seen to tempt those who might want to help themselves to something that didn’t belong to them.

Decisions, decisions. Maybe I will remember to grab my camera bag tomorrow, just in case.

Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. - Psalm 96:2-3

About the photo:

As you might guess, especially if you have been reading posts around here for very long, this photo did not quite look like this right when I took it. The original photo was not nearly this colorful. Thankfully, Raw mode captures quite a bit of information, which can be used to enhance the photo quite a bit, and that is what I did. After that, I ran it through some more processing using the Google Nik filters to bring out the color and contrast even more. Yes, all of that takes more time than just taking a quick photo with your camera, but it is definitely worth it in the long run, I believe. Take a look at this before-and-after comparison to see for yourself:

Colorful winter sunset before-and-after

It really does look like two separate photos, but I can assure you that this is all the same photo. Take some time to make your photos look better. You will be glad you did!

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: February 24, 2017
Location: Our house, Williston, Tennessee

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.