03 April 2011

Mt Victoria Sunset

I went for a drive out to Mt Wilson last weekend. It's a little town in the Blue Mountains and is famous for wonderful autumn colours. Unlike the rest of the Blue Mountains, which generally has gum trees, Mt Wilson has lots of trees that change colour during autumn (or "fall" for you Americans). I go up there on a regular basis during autumn to see if the colours have changed and this trip was my first visit this year.

Because we haven't had any cold snaps yet, the colours were still mainly green. But it was nice to go for a drive.

On my way home via Mt Victoria, a place I love for the the two small coffee shops, I realised that there might be a very interesting sunset. There had been heavy, dark storm clouds all day but, out to the west, there was a small gap in the clouds just above the horizon.

As I drove along the Darling Causeway - the road you take when driving between Mt Vic to Mt Wilson - I kept looking for good viewing spots. Even though the road runs along a ridge, you'd be surprised how few places there are with a clear look out west. I eventually found a place near to Mt Victoria.

I quickly set up my tripod and started taking photos. I started using my 70-200 mm telephoto lens but, because the gap in the clouds was quite narrow, I then added the 2x teleconverter. The sunset turned out to be stunning and the quality of the light quickly changed as the sun dropped from the edge of the cloud cover down over the horizon. I was really excited about the photos I was getting and couldn't wait to get home to see them on the large screen.

I ended up keeping four (out of 75) images, which is about normal for me. I had troubles with editing two of the photos. I kept changing my mind as to what I wanted from them and it's taken me all week to finally settle on the look I liked best.

This is my favourite image and the one that's caused me most grief in terms of editing. I needed a balance between the softness of the sidelight and still bring out the stunning colours. It took me a while to get the colours right (too saturated and you lose the soft feeling, not enough saturation and it looks washed out).
Sidelight, Mt Victoria

My other favourite (I have difficulty choosing between it and Sidelight) is this one. I hardly had to do any editing on it.
Gold, Mt Victoria

You can catch all of them in the Blue Mountains gallery.

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