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Photography Question 
Tamera S. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
 

Sunrise Shots in Maui


I'm off to Maui on Thursday and looking forward to shooting some sunrise shots with my new Rebelt XT. With tripod in hand can anyone suggest a specific filter? How about manual settings? You only have a short time to catch these and I don't want to miss a thing. Any helpful tips would be appreciated. Thank you.


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12/5/2005 7:46:35 PM

 
Brenda M. Wolfensberger
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/29/2004
  I can't help with any answers to your questions, but I'd be happy to tag along and help carry your equipment! :) Have a great trip & I can't wait to see the pictures.


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12/5/2005 7:48:04 PM

 
Tamera S. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
  Thank you Brenda for your offer! I'm going for my sister's wedding so I've sure gotten lots of similar offers :-) My husband bought me the camera just for the trip and I've been trying to get used to it as much as possible...but I feel at a disadvantage! Look for shots in January. Take care.


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12/5/2005 7:53:30 PM

 
Michele Wassell   I was just there two weeks ago for one week and only had one nice sunset. No good sunrises and a lot of no good sunsets, so I hope you have better luck. A popular place for sunrise is the H. Crater. I am sorry that I don't remember the name of it.

As far as settings, I would just do aperature priority and set your aperature to what you need and let your camera decide the shutter speed. Thats just my opinion and what I would do. I can't really think of any filters as I don't use any for sunsets or sunrises. Usuallly there, if there is a good sunrise/sunset, you don't need a filter as the colors are so vibrant, etc. Good luck and have a wonderful trip. :)


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12/5/2005 9:16:17 PM

 
Tamera S. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
  Thank you Michele - the crater you are talking about is exactly where we will be heading. I appreciate your input.


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12/6/2005 6:25:44 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   You might want to take a split ND filter unless you want the foreground as a silhouette. The ND filter will bring the exposure of the sunset a little closer to that of the foreground so you can get a little of the foreground in the photo. Other than that, I would not worry about any filters.


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12/6/2005 6:29:38 AM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Use your polarizer.

Be sure to sign up for the bicycle ride down Mt Haleakala. It's a dormant volcano. The tour is expensive, but probably one of the best things you can do.

You should plan to take this tour on your first day as your body clock will be "off" from flying to the island. You'll be picked up [between 2:30 am and 4:00 am] by a van and driven to the top of the volcano to await sun-up.

It's cold and dark, so the tour operators provide coats and gloves, as well as helmets and bicycles. Get to the top as early as you can - later departing tours bring their folks who can't get that close to the crater. As a result their photo op is diminished.

Sunrise takes about 20 minutes. You get to look at the souvenir shop, use the restrooms and, then, you jump on a special bike for a downhill ride of 28 miles!

Prices vary from ~$60-120/per person. It's expensive, but worth every penny. And, my pictures of the sunrise remain some of my best.


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12/6/2005 8:38:14 AM

 
Tamera S. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
  Thank you both for your suggestions. 28 miles?? Wow - even downhill I'm not sure I can do it that early in the morning...LOL.


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12/6/2005 9:51:42 AM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  You never have to pedal. All you'll do is brake.

Have fun!


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12/6/2005 10:15:24 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  i kinda agree with michele on this about aperture priority.i set mine at f22.i've used f11 and f16 and didn't like the results.if you don't have a remote release use your self timer.i never use any filters but I have thought about a split nd filter like kerry suggested for trying to get the colors of the reflections in water to match the sky.sometimes the colors are better before the sun comes up and after it sets,you don't always have to have the sun in the photos for great color.and don't meter or focus on the sun,you won't like the washed out look.
hth,sam


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12/6/2005 1:51:27 PM

 
Tamera S. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
  Thank you Sam. I'm going to try some with a filter and some without!!


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12/6/2005 2:02:45 PM

 
Tamera S. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
  Does anyone have an opinion about bracketing this shot?


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12/6/2005 6:09:03 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  hey tamera,i've found that the time spent messing with bracketng,i missed several shots.
take a few pics before, of what you think are optimal color and take a few pics after.
because of the slight light shift,it's just about like bracketing.
sam


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12/6/2005 10:28:23 PM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Bracketting works best when you're shooting slide film. I'm not sure what one gains with digital since you can edit using Photoshop or some other editing program.

One other thing. You mentioned a tripod. While it's a good accessoriy, you probably won't be able to use it on Haleakala. Too many people, not enough space. And, since it'll be dark [very dark] until sunrise, you might have set-up issues.

Sunrises happen quickly, but not so quickly that you need the tripod, however. Remember, the sun is a bright light.


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12/7/2005 4:15:18 AM

 
Tamera S. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
  Thank you both for the additional information. I think everyone has given me enough pointers where I'm bound to catch a good shot! You guys and gals are all so great! I love this place.


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12/7/2005 6:28:27 AM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Bracket..Bracket..Bracket!
While you can indeed correct for some exposure deficiencies in Photoshop; every time you do, you are degrading the image. It is much better to get the exposure right the 1st time..or in the case of bracketing, by the 3rd time. LOL

Not sure about the Rebel, but the Nikon D-70 can be set to shoot 3 shots at various EV's..and quite quickly.

As far as a polorizer, it is useless when shooting into a sunset as polorizers are best used at angles away from 0 degrees..(i.e) straight on into the sun. You'll also lose about 1 f/stop with the polorizer on the cam.

All the Best,

Pete


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12/7/2005 4:23:49 PM

 
Troy Plant   In response to the following, "Be sure to sign up for the bicycle ride down Mt Haleakala. It's a dormant volcano. The tour is expensive, but probably one of the best things you can do."

I recommend doing this for sure and you get some great photos! I would recommend DRIVING yourself to the top and then leaving ahead of the hundreds of people on bikes.

Riding bikes down the mountain in the cold/dark weather, can be dangerous and takes alot longer to get to the bottom compared to driving. Personally I preferred to get back to the beach! Great photo opportunity and amazing experience though. I recommend getting the Maui Revealed book for your visit it was very helpful. Have fun and good luck!


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12/7/2005 4:42:32 PM

 
Tamera S. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
  Thank you both for the input. I did talk with someone at work who did agree with driving instead of the bike ride. I haven't been on a bike for awhile and I would feel safer in a car! We are going to drive. As for the book - thanks for the suggestion. I might just check that out.


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12/7/2005 5:20:02 PM

 
Michele Wassell   I second the book that Troy mentioned.


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12/7/2005 5:36:44 PM

 
A C
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/6/2004
 
 
 
Definetly try to bracket! I'm including three pictures taken just after sunset. The first was exposed for the sky, the second was for the ground, and the third is a composite of the two. I took the first two images into photoshop and put them together to come up with how it looked to me when I took the shot.

To accomplish this you definetly need to use a tripod if at all possible.


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12/7/2005 6:21:38 PM

 
Michele Wassell   Tripod is a must for sunset and sunrise and I didn't have any problems with my tripod up at the crater the two mornings I went in the pitch dark. Very dark indeed... You need to get there at least by 4am to get a good spot that you want. People will already be there by 4am. I just hope your luck with the sunrises are better than mine. I didn't get any good ones. :(... Good reason to go back one day!! :)


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12/7/2005 6:32:05 PM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  "i kinda agree with michele on this about aperture priority.i set mine at f22.i've used f11 and f16 and didn't like the results." - So Sam, what aperture would you suggest?


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12/8/2005 5:55:00 AM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Take the bike ride. The narrow road down the volcano is very tricky. The bikers have tour guides leading the way and the vans riding shot gun.

As to darkness , obviously, Troy doesn't realize that after sunrise, it's not dark!

Because it's all downhill, there's no effort. And, if all you want to do is lie on a beach, you really don't need to go to Hawaii [at it's prices] to do that. Enjoy the sights you can see and save the beach scene til late afternnon.


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12/8/2005 6:39:33 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  f22 robyn.iuse 400 speed film and at f11 and f16 it didn't seem to saturate the film as well.
sam


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12/8/2005 9:55:43 AM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Thanks Sam, just re-read yr comment, where u mentioned F22! Need to slow down when I go thru these comments!


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12/8/2005 11:40:56 PM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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Years and years ago, it was reported that probably 90 percent of all photographs were taken with aperture settings between f/5.6 and f/11. That's probably still true today and, should give you reason to re-consider shooting at f/22, as suggested earlier in this thread.

Remember, you'll be shooting a pin-point of light when the sun first comes up. At f/22 you'll, by defintion, be using a "longer" shutter speed. This can do any number of things - including allowing a burn in of the sun's pin-point. In the five minutes, or less it will take for the sun to rise above the rim of Haleakala's crater, you'll have all the brilliance of the orning sun and, while you might think f/22 will be helpful, I doubt it.

You're interest in the sun, the color and the rim; you want to use a hyperfocal setting that's controllable. If you want to use a polarizer, which I recommend, f/22 result in an apparent f/stop of f/64 or extend you shutter opening intolerably.

Sunrises and sunsets are the easiest pictures to take es[ecially, once the sun rises to a respectable point. When it's merely the pinpoint, there's a bit drama, but . . .


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12/9/2005 6:03:04 AM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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Years and years ago, it was reported that probably 90 percent of all photographs were taken with aperture settings between f/5.6 and f/11. That's probably still true today and, should give you reason to re-consider shooting at f/22, as suggested earlier in this thread.

Remember, you'll be shooting a pin-point of light when the sun first comes up. At f/22 you'll, by defintion, be using a "longer" shutter speed. This can do any number of things - including allowing a burn in of the sun's pin-point. In the five minutes, or less it will take for the sun to rise above the rim of Haleakala's crater, you'll have all the brilliance of the orning sun and, while you might think f/22 will be helpful, I doubt it.

You're interest in the sun, the color and the rim; you want to use a hyperfocal setting that's controllable. If you want to use a polarizer, which I recommend, f/22 result in an apparent f/stop of f/64 or extend you shutter opening intolerably.

Sunrises and sunsets are the easiest pictures to take es[ecially, once the sun rises to a respectable point. When it's merely the pinpoint, there's a bit drama, but . . .


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12/9/2005 6:09:39 AM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Tried to upload one of my images shot at Haleakala. Can't figure out how to get into the thread directly, but it's in my gallery.

Of course, I just noted you've left for Hawaii. Sometimes these threads just continue too endlessly and we forget details of the original question.


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12/9/2005 6:15:39 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  i've never seen a link to your gallery john,i would like to see it as well as anyones who gives a response to questions here so I can see their results from the settings they suggest.
i use a 28mm prime set at hyperfocul distance.and yes f22.but most of the time the sun has already set.i just want the colors and reflection.but anyone can go in my gallery,see the pictures I take at those settings and decide for themselves if that's the results they might want.might be the 400 speed film I use?don't know.i know i'm closing my lens down to just a pinhole and from trial and error that's what I like as a result.
at halloween I took a series of pictures of a lit pumpkin at night and changed my aperture one stop in a series of 5 pictures for a test of my own.no difference at all,aperture priority so it set a different shutter speed for each different aperture.so I still don't know why it would be different for sunset except for maybe the waning light.
if I steer someone wrong, it is not on purpose, just out of ignorance or lack of knowledge,and i'm ok with that because of my intent,sam


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12/9/2005 2:35:18 PM

 
David A. Bliss   Someone already said bracket. Unless you are very comfortable with your camera, and have spent a lot of time shooting sunrises and sunsets, and paying attention to what the optimal settings are, you should bracket. If you change exposure in Photoshop, it will add noise. Photoshop is a great tool, but it does not replace getting the shot right in the first place. Also, your camera can be tricked by a bright sky and a dark foreground, really throwing your exposure off. These aren't photos you can go back next weekend and try again.

Always use the tripod. Not only because the smaller aperture will increase shutter speed, but it slows you down and makes you spend more time framing the shot (in my opinion).

I never shoot sunrise or sunset without my graduated neutral density filter. It compensates for the narrow exposure latitude of film or the CCD. I like the Cokin system type of filter, because you can adjust where the line between the light and dark parts of the filter are.

A polarizer won't do a lot of good for most sunrise or sunset pictures, but it can help for some, by changing the color saturation for things like sand or water. For the most part, though, the polarizer works best at 90 degrees, so it does no good when pointing at the sun.

As for aperture setting, your lens is not as sharp at it's smallest aperture (f22) as it is at wider apertures. Sometimes you need to use f22, but if you don't, than go with something wider, like f16 or f11. If you know how to figure out hyperfocal distance, this can help you a lot.


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12/9/2005 3:17:08 PM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Sorry Sam - I forgot to activiate it.


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12/10/2005 8:46:02 AM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Sorry Sam - I forgot to activiate it.


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12/10/2005 8:46:03 AM

 
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