Tuesday, July 14, 2020

If Turner had a camera

The English painter, William Turner, was known for the intensely colorful way he painted his sunsets and sunrises, as in the painting below. Whenever I encounter an extremely colorful sunset or sunrise, I always think of him.  This time I was photographing the sky in normal daylight when I encountered what I term a "Turner effect". 

I was out photographing the sun peaking through a heavy sky full of cumulus clouds. I was using a Nikon Z6 with the latest 24-200 mm f/4-6.3 zoom lens because it could cover such a broad focal length that allowed me to form the scene into multiple compositions by going from extremely wide to telephoto.

As I began photographing directly into the sun, which was shining brightly from behind a thin area of the clouds, I noticed that the edges of the image took on a kaleidoscope of colors. The color effect only lasted for a short time, just long enough for me to grab a few images. I was using a shutter speed of 1/8000 and an aperture that varied from f/11 to f/22 to capture the two images below.

While the colors were there in the original, RAW file, I did enhance them somewhat and also adjusted the exposure in post by lightening up the shadows and bringing down the highlights.  For shots, like these, where I want the colors to really pop, I convert the image to the LAB color profile in Photoshop and increase the color intensity there before re-converting it back to RGB. LAB has a far more extensive color range in which to work.


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