I shot this photo the other night during one of my Sunset Photo Safari workshops with Alaska Photo Treks. We’d been searching for good light throughout the evening, and with predominately overcast skies, the majority of our time was spent shooting closeups and taking advantage of the soft light on subjects like flowers, and long exposure waterfalls.
However, as I keep learning over and over again, persistence pays off. Just as we were driving back along the Seward Highway at 10:00PM, we turned a corner and saw the sun peeking through a break in the clouds just above the horizon.
Without delay, we headed down to the beach and spent the rest of the evening photographing a brilliant display of sunset colors reflecting over the Cook Inlet landscape. The wild looking clouds were a bonus. I shot a couple of different compositions, and even though my long lens shots (below) have more color, I like this shot best. The framing feels more simple, I like the way the three distance elements play off of each other, and the smattering of color on the right edge is more than enough to give the shot warmth and interest.
This one was made with my Fuji X-T1 and XF 14mm f/2.8 wide angle lens, which gives a beautiful wide view with very little distortion, even at the edges. This is by far my favorite XF lens, and if I had to get rid of all of my Fuji lenses and only keep one, it would be the 14mm.
I processed the file in Capture One Pro 7, which does a much better job of rendering sharpness on the Fuji RAW files than Lightroom. I also just love the way that C1 looks; it uses a completely different processing algorithm than Adobe uses in their software. I wouldn’t way it’s a better RAW develop than Lightroom, it’s just different, and I’ve been pleased with the results that I’ve gotten during the past few weeks since I bought the program.
Note, I use a LR plugin called Open Directly to get my RAW files straight from LR to Capture One. This lets you bypass LR’s initial RAW conversion stage. If you just set up C1 as an external editor in LR, you won’t be able to take full advantage of C1′s own algorithms to process your RAW files, you’ll just be importing already processed TIFFS.
Phase One has extended their summer sale and both Capture One Pro 7 and Capture One Express are half price. I don’t know how long the sale will last, but both programs have a full featured 60-day demo so you can try them out and see if they’ll work for you.
Here’s the original images straight out of Lightroom to show you that even with the best scenes, most files need a bit of retouching, whether you do that in LR or C1.