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Photo Craft Technique Assignments Assignment #43: Twilight Zone

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Old Jul-05-2007, 09:23 PM
Nikolai is offline Nikolai OP
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Assignment #43: Twilight Zone
No, we're not talking about the well-known TV series. We're talking about that special time of day or night that creates that vague limbo between the two. While it can be virtually nonexistent near the equator or last for days on the poles, most of us can expect it to last anywhere between the 30 minutes and an hour (really depending on the latitude).
The beauty of the twilight lies in its exceedingly soft, albeit a bit low, light. And while the human eye may not necessarily enjoy it without special preparations, out cameras can.
Here's one of such twilight shots, taken from the Bryce Point about 30 minutes prior to sunrise during the 2006 Smugmug shootout in Bryce Canyon.

EXIF shows that this shot has been taken at mere ISO100, f/4 and 8sec.
I can assure you (and you can ask everybody who was there at the moment) that from the human stand point it was very, very dark. Yet Marc (Muench that is:-) advised us to take a few shots - and we did. It wasn't even on full manual - camera automatic exposure system did fairly well.

And here's generally the same shot about 30 minutes later. This one, taken just a few minutes before the sunrise, I could already see myself as clearly as the did the camera:

You can easily notice the much deeper and somewhat colder colors of the twilight shot.

So, here's our next task: get up early or stay out late and take the shot (or two) at least 15 minutes before sunrise or after the sunset. Better yet - make it 30 minutes. And for the standing ovation make it 45 min, provided it makes sense at your latitude. The ideal scenario will be having all three, hopefully of the same general subject. In any case, if your camera shows more than 30 sec at ISO100 - it's eather way too early or way too late. In general, let's agree on 30 sec max and 3 sec min.

You can always find your exact local sunrise/sunset times here. Dress up for the weather, bring a reliable flash light (I like those some LED-based head-mounted ones), a sturdy tripod and a remote shutter. If you go for a morning shoot, make sure you scout the location beforehand, otherwise you'd be having a hard time finding your way in a predawn darkness carrying a few $K worth of very delicate equipment on you.
Once on location, setup your tripod and let the camera do the work (or you can play with trial-and-error method).

Please provide the basic exif info, and if you happen have a little story to tell about this shoot - bring it on, too!

As always: fresh shots only, moderate postprocessing. For the rest of the rules please check the usual sticky.

Let's get some twilight!
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Last edited by Nikolai; Jul-05-2007 at 09:52 PM.
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