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Photowalk 30: Dusk At Portsmouth Harbour

Viewing PlatformOne of the technique challenges over on our Flickr Forum is to take some photo's around Dawn or Dusk, so when last night my better half said she needed some petrol putting in her car I used the opportunity to grab some photographs.

I started off by heading towards Lee On Solent, where normally some nice Sunsets can be had, but then I thought twice. I'd been there before, so why not head down to Portsmouth Harbour (Gosport side) and get some shots of the Spinnaker Tower?

Viewing Platform Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/6th, ISO 400, Focal Length 63mm, Tripod
Viewing Platform

I came across a shortcoming with my S5700 during this shoot - its low-light capability. When I wanted to take a photo with maximum Depth of Field by using a small aperture, the camera couldn't expose the shot for long enough, I kept bumping into the 4 second maximum. I had to increase the ISO, which lead to more noise.

With these sorts of subjects a tripod is essential, you just can't get half-sharp shots unless you use one. Even so, most of the photo's in this set are a bit soft.

An Admiral Looks On Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F6.3, 0.77sec, ISO 200, Focal Length 14mm, Tripod
An Admiral Looks On

I increased the darkness of the silhouettes by using a levels adjustment layer in Photoshop Elements, then added a hue / sat adjustment layer (though it doesn't really matter) and changed its blend mode to overlay or soft light, then toned down the effect by adjusting the opacity.

Across The Water Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F6.3, 1.1sec, ISO 400, Focal Length 8mm, Tripod
Across The Water

You may have noticed I've started to add a signature / watermark to my photos. I release most of my images under Creative Commons - you can use them for whatever you like, as long as you credit this website - but I just wanted to add my personal mark as well.

The other side effect to this is that I was a bit pickier with which images I chose to upload - I guess that if my name is on it I want it to be the best I can produce....

Lusty At Dusk Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F6.3, 1.3sec, ISO 200, Focal Length 31mm, Tripod
Lusty At Dusk

This one really is a bit blurred - I was balancing my tripod on top of a wall so I could get the view above the fence you can see in the foreground, and it was wobbling around a bit, but I can't pass by a Royal Navy ship without sharing a photograph.

Fancy a go? Join our Flickr Group!

Thanks, Rob.

PS, A note on camera exif data. Being a bridge camera, my S5700 has a crop factor because the sensor is a lot smaller than on a dSLR, so when you're looking at the focal lengths bear in mind that the S5700 has a focal length range of 6-63mm, which is the equivalent of 38-380mm in a 35mm dSLR. Also the aperture and shutter speeds given are approximate, as for some reason sometimes they're different in the PC exif data than what I actually took, but its usually just the next step up or down.

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