I was planning this shot for a couple of days. I used my favorite app Exsate Golden Hour to pinpoint the time and the position of the sun at sunset.I knew exactly what I was going to shoot, but I had to wait for three days for a good sunset.
On the day of the shot, I could see in advance that the sunset would have a potential for a great light. I arrived at the spot about an hour before the sunset. I set up my camera and tripod and waited for the best possible lighting conditions. By the end of the shoot, I had a few interesting photographs. I took the featured photo at the time when the sun touched the horizon.
Since I had plenty of time to experiment with the different shutter speed values and various techniques, I ended up with the bunch of different images to choose from. First, I took a series of 3 bracketed shots as I normally do. It resulted in the shot with the aperture value of f/9 and the shutter speed of 1/13s.
Next, I used the Sony Smooth Reflection app. The app automatically took 32 consecutive shots and merged them into a single RAW file, creating a long exposure effect. After editing both shots in Lightroom I blended them manually in Photoshop together to add a smooth look to the areas of the sky and the water.
With the help of the Crop Overlay tool, I cropped the image to improve the composition without changing the aspect ratio. I also made sure the horizon was straight. Next, I usedAutumn preset from my Fall Colors Collection as the base for Lightroom Rapid Editing.
Then I used TOOLKIT to reduce Clarity and boost Contrast.
The Lightroom Preset Editing Formula: Autumn (2, 8, 21, 33, 39)I applied the same editing settings to the second RAW image with the long exposure effect. I exported both images to Photoshop.
First, I blended 2 images together using the Transparency Masks. Next, I used the Stamp Tool to clean up the image. Plugins: DeNoise (noise reduction), Topaz Detail (local contrast boost).
Archiving: I save all my photos as JPEG (quality: 100%) at full resolution and with the help of the Lightroom plugin, I synchronized them with my portfolio on SmugMug for safekeeping, sharing, image hosting, and online sales.
I am a travel photographer and educator from Montreal, Canada, and a founder of PhotoTraces. I travel around the world and share my experiences here. Feel free to check my Travel Portfolio and download Free Lightroom Presets.