Point Reyes Sunset

What’s a photographer to do? With the sun setting along the coast, however you expose the image the sun is going to blow out. True, in real life the sun blows out when you are looking at it with your eyes as well, and most people therefore practice not looking directly at the sun, even when it is setting. But the naked eye doesn’t perceive the unattractive sharp gradation of color, looking like a solid line, from the sunset sky to the white area of the blown-out sun. Any reasonable exposure for the oceanscape does exactly this awful sharp gradation when processed by a digital sensor.

I don’t really think there’s much choice with this one. You’re not going to salvage it with HDR or multiprocessed RAW, the exposure difference between the sun and cliffs in shadow is too great. So your only move is to expose for the ocean and shore, and let the sun go hang.

I think the photo pretty much works anyhow, and I like a couple of small details, like the bird flying in the sunlight and the small yellow flower on the lower right.

[12-24mm zoom lens at 24mm, 36mm in 35mm terms, 1/200 of a second at f/7.1 and ISO 100, handheld.]

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