Digital Photography Sunday School Episode 10

//Digital Photography Sunday School Episode 10
Digital Photography Sunday School Episode 10
Final Processed Image
Straight out of camera – (0 Exposure)
Straight out of camera – (-1 Exposure)
Straight out of camera – (+1 Exposure)

Camera Gear and Settings:

Processing Software Used:

photo by: Jack Thatcher

While You Slept

2015 Marin Headlands, CA

I said it before and I will say it again……I HATE waking up early. However, I have never regretted waking up for a sunrise. No matter if it is a complete bust or phenomenal, there is something about being up before everyone else and being out in nature that just feels amazing. Let me clarify a bit more: I hate the process of getting up, it SUCKS! Sometimes it even feels impossible to get out of bed. You start making all sorts of excuses and come up with all sorts of justifications of why you can’t.  Let me tell you that YOU CAN…….DO IT!!! One of my mentors, Jim Rohn, once said, “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” Don’t live with regrets.

This morning turned out to be quite the trip. I was going to meet up with my buddy Dan ( to shoot the sunrise and pick up a Sony A7R. On the short trip up Highway 280 from San Jose I encountered some pretty crazy things. First, I was cruising at about 80 MPH……there isn’t anyone on the road at 5AM. Next thing I know I came around a slight corner and there were headlights facing me……I then saw a pile of something (I still don’t know what the heck it was) in my lane and quickly swerved away from the lights and around the pile. A super close call and I am surprised I didn’t lose control. Thank goodness I was driving my car an not my wife’s SUV because I don’t think it could have handled the maneuver. Then about 20 miles further down the road I saw a car swerve across a five lane highway about 100 yards in front of me as it hit something and lost control. Thankfully they were able to regain control and make it safely to the shoulder. Needless to say I was a bit rattled at this point

Ultimately I made it over the Golden Gate Bridge into the Marin Headlands to meet Dan for an amazing sunrise. We were hoping for some low fog over the bridge but it was tighter to the city which was ok. We ended up shooting from Hawk Hill to capture this moment. I decided to go with a telephoto lens to get a close up of the amazing colors and the city of San Francisco. I zoomed right past the bridge and focused on the Transamerica building. The light was pretty dramatic so I opted to bracket my shots to make sure I got the full range of light. In this case I shot (-1, 0, +1) exposures. They sky was amazing so I decided to put that in the top portion of the golden ratio and then put the city and the fog in the bottom portion. I always ask myself, “What is more interesting? The sky or the foreground?” Whatever the answer is determines how I frame my image. The great part is that there is no right answer…everyone has a different eye and opinion.

Editing Process

This was  a pretty simple edit for me. I took the three exposures in Lightroom CC and merged them as an HDR image (Not bad Adobe…..I’m pretty impressed with this process). From there I adjusted the white balance and basic settings to bring out the color and detail that I remembered that morning. I did some minor split toning where the highlights where orange and the shadows were a blue/purple. The contrasting colors looked nice together.

I then moved over to Photoshop where I cleaned up a few spots, gave it a little bump in color and some sharpening. Lastly, as I almost always do I added a vignette to draw your eye into the image. Thanks for sticking around and reading our stories. We really appreciate you all and would love to help you down the road you are traveling. Join us on our journeys and let’s have some fun!

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