The Why Behind This Project
There is something special about watching the sun go down the horizon. The sky changing colors in such a dramatic and short amount of time can make for some of the most rewarding experiences. It is a natural phenomenon that affects us in many ways and we have the chance to appreciate it every day.
I have always loved chasing sunsets and sunrises, planning the day to make sure I have time to just sit and watch the whole event from beginning to end is something that gives me great pleasure and replenishes my spirit.
We have all seen great pictures of sunsets or sunrises, the beautiful orange glow and the dramatic shadows in the clouds. However, with this series I want to show the entire event, from day to night, in a single image, I want to capture all the changes that we see before, during, and after the sun makes its way across the horizon so the viewer can get a sense of what it was to be there, for that period of time.
This type of photography is many times referred to as Timeslice Photography and has been around for a while. There are many examples online.
My approach to Timeslice Photography is very simple, I usually start with location, which determines wether I will be capturing a sunset or a sunrise. For this series I focused on landmarks around the Tampa Bay area, more specifically, popular places that have photographic appeal. After I know what I want to photograph I research the direction of the setting/rising sun to figure out where to place the camera. For this I rely on online tools and apps.
The next step is to compromise on the composition, framing the shot so that the final image is interesting and pleasing to the eye. This is easier said than done because after I decide on one composition I can’t make any changes to it, which means I have to really be happy with it since I will be taking the same picture for an hour or more.
After this is done, I have to decide on how often I will be pressing the shutter. Usually I just set my intervalometer to a fixed amount of time, like one minute between each shot, and leave it throughout the entire event. But sometimes I take pictures as often as I see changes that I like in the sky.
The Post Process
After I have all my images, which can range from a total of 50 to 200, I import them into Lightroom and do basic editing on them, like lens perspective and color correction, sometimes even crop.
Next is to load all the images as layers in Photoshop and blend them together. There are different ways to do this and most of the times it depends on the final look I want the image to have. Generally I use guides to separate the slices which are then filled by masking each layer into a different slice.
Finally I export the image back to Lightroom where I finish polishing it with precise edits.
And that’s about it.
I hope you like my series of timeslice photography, feel free to reach out with any comments or suggestion, I am always looking for new locations to add to this series, if you have one please be sure to let me know.