June Challenge: Sunrise… Entry #7 Daytona Beach Sunrise

This next entry is a beauty, submitted by Kristen J. This is probably what many of us were looking for when we were presented with so many clouds in the early morning hours of June.

I find it interesting that Kristen has broken all the rules of composition but I find that it works. Her sun is dead center but the thing that I like is that trail of light across the water. Sunrises are especially beautiful when you can catch them reflecting off of water. And the other thing she has done is gotten a sun star.

So let’s look at her settings to see how she did that. First of all her ISO was set at 100 (excellent… the lower the ISO, the better) and she was shooting at 27mm which is a wide view and I assume she was using a zoom lens. Because the sun was bright, she was able to shoot at a fast shutter speed of 1/500 second, thereby making it easy to hand hold without blurring and her Fstop was F16 giving lots of depth of field as well as causing a sun star. The number of “rays” in your star will depend on the number of leaflets in your lens from what I understand, and it looks like she has eight. Just to the right of the sun you will see two small areas of lens flare since she is shooting directly into the sun.

Now my only regret is the fact that it looks like she has one of two things… either a dirty lens or more likely, a dirty sensor. Look at the dark spots in the sky and there is also one in the water. I am counting about 13 that I am initially seeing and unfortunately they mar this beautiful image. If it is the lens, just clean the lens with a soft cloth or there is special lens cleaner that you can buy. If it looks like there is anything abrasive, like sand on the lens, be sure to blow it away before using a cloth. After doing this, shoot at a plain blue sky and see if those spots remain. If they do, then it is your sensor and that requires that your sensor be cleaned. In order to do this, be sure to carefully read your camera instructions as it is a delicate operation and if you are unsure of doing it yourself, then take it to a reputable camera dealer, but it will cost you!

Now the question comes… how do you prevent this from happening? It will probably happen at some point to all of us. Many of the cameras have an automatic sensor cleaning built into the camera itself and will indicate “sensor cleaning” when you turn your camera on or off and that is definitely a great help.

To prevent dirt on your sensor it is important that you limit the length of time it takes to change lenses. Make the change as quickly as possible and also do it with the camera body pointed in a downward position to prevent contaminants from falling onto the sensor. Needless to say if you are in a windy location or an area with blowing water or sand, it is essential to protect your sensor at all costs.

This would be a beautiful photo to have printed but obviously not with the spots so I will take this into Lightroom or you can do it in photoshop and remove those spots with the spot removal tool. When doing so, enlarge your image as you work and you will probably find more spots that you had initially not seen. Adjust the size of your spot removal tool and click on each offending spot. And if you have a blurry bird fly into your frame that is not wanted, you can remove the bird the same way.

Daytona Beach Sunrise (Photo by Kristen)

Daytona Beach
(Photo by Kristen)


So here is Kristen’s image after I imported it to Lightroom and removed the offending spots.
Daytona Beach Sunrise (Photo by Kristen J.)

Daytona Beach
(Photo by Kristen J.)


I am still seeing one problem that catches my eye. Look at the top left hand corner at the darkened area. I am unsure if that is from the lens hood or what but that is easily removed once again with the spot removal tool. So here is Kristen’s final image…
Daytona Beach Sunrise (Photo by Kristen J.)

Daytona Beach
(Photo by Kristen J.)

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