A Handheld Sunset

I wasn’t certain what I was going to photograph yesterday, until I peaked out the window and saw a beautiful gradient in the sky as the Sun set. Because it was getting darker, I decided to switch back to the 25mm ƒ/1.7 lens before I pointed my G7 out the window toward the setting Sun.

It was an interesting field of view, as the elements on the ground were all cast in shadow while the sky continued to be luminous. This disparity led me to think the exposures would be an excellent candidate for an HDR photo stack. The problem was, I didn’t feel like I had time to set up my tripod before I lost the light. So I did something I’ve never before done, I captured a series of photos for stacking handheld. I took five exposures. Each had the same ISO 1 and Aperture 2, I decided to vary my exposures via shutter speed only.

I have to say, I’m impressed by how slow I can make the shutter on the G7 while shooting handheld. My longest exposure was shot at 1/15th of a second, and the photo was still sharp. I then sped up the shutter up in increments – 1/25, 1/40, 1/60, 1/100. After importing these into Lightroom I merged these into an HDR stack. I was a bit uncertain if the merge would work, given the variations present in the exposures, but Lightroom got the job done. It took a bit of adjustment to bring out all the different elements of the combined photos, but I’m pleased with the results.

A Winter Sunset
An HDR composite from five exposures.

  1. 400, in case you were wondering. 
  2. I shot full open at 1.7.