eric paré

How to capture huge sunsets

30 Apr 2015

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Yesterday I asked the members of my private tips & tricks facebook group if they think this photo is real or photoshopped. The answer is that it's totally real. The trick is to use a telephoto lens. During the first part of the project, I had my Canon 300mm f4 lens with me, and I simply wanted to take ultra thin silhouette of Kim at sunset using that lens. The principle is the opposite of using a wide angle lens which is giving distortion. In the case of a telephoto lens, the focal lenght gives a very compressed body shape, which is perfect for creating silhouettes. But at the same time, I realized that the sun was looking pretty big in my pictures and I really liked the results.

Months later, I saw these two videos which are way more impressive than what I've been doing. One is done with a 800mm lens + 2x extender, and the other with a 500mm lens + also a 2x extender. It's totally out of the question for me to travel with that kind of heavy equipment (The 800mm lens weight 10 pounds by itself!!), but I had a 1.4x extender at the studio and even if it's not a lot different, it totally helped me getting a bigger sun. So for the Mexico part of the project, I shot a couple of sunsets using my 300mm f4 + 1.4x extender, giving a focal length of 420mm. 

So the trick is really to have a long telephoto lens and to have enough distance to be able to shoot low and to stay at low level at the same time. I was at about 60 meters of the subject and 20 centimeters above the water on these shots in Mexico.


"Sunchasers: A Sunset Short" by Aaron Eveland, made with a 800mm and a 2x extender. Source: fstoppers 


"Full Moon Silhouettes" by Mark Gee, created with a 500mm lens + 2x extender.


Thanks again IPAF for the invitation at the 2015 edition of this incredible festival. 

More picture about our project Little Circle can be found around here.


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