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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old May 31st, 2005, 10:53 AM   #1
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Capturing sunrise

Just looking for some suggestions for a sunrise. I'll be out at twilight with a PD170 and would like to get a city skyline in twilight with the sun emerging in the background.

I'm thinking about a polarizer with maybe ND. Any ideas on shutter speed or if I should manual white balance or use the preset?
Thanks,
Bob
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Old May 31st, 2005, 11:05 AM   #2
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Whatever you chose, you only get one choice with the 170 as long as you run it in manual because of the step nature of all the manual adjustments.

I'd recommend running in auto white balance as the color temperature is going to be changing very rapidly. Besides nobody really knows whether it is color balanced at that stage or not.

I'd guess the polarizer isn't going to do much for you as they are most effective at 90 degrees to the sun's 'rays.' It will add some attenuation to the light though whether that will be enough or not is questionable.
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Old May 31st, 2005, 02:18 PM   #3
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I was hoping the polarizer would give me a deeper blue at the top 1/3 rather than a washed out look? Not sure.
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Old May 31st, 2005, 02:25 PM   #4
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I almost would suggest not using the auto white balance. With film, sunrises and sunsets can come out spectacular because the film is not made for that light, thus producing rich colors not really visible to the human eye. If you have a preset for 5,800K it might be worth considering. It all depends on how close to reality you want to stay.

I think the biggest problem is that there is a short period when everything is going to be just right, so stay awake.
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Old June 1st, 2005, 06:01 PM   #5
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Experiment ...

..... drumroll .....

and the answer is ....

Do a test to find out what you like.

The day before, try various white balances: preset daylight, tungsten, auto; manual WB.
Try the polarizer. It may work. I've shot a lot of sunsets with polarizers that looked great!
It certainly won't hurt.

In photography, still or motion, film or video, there's nothing like testing and experimenting to teach yourself what works for a given situation. So much of it is personal style/taste. Tape is cheap. Don't be afraid to try all kinds of "outrageous" ideas.

Good luck, and let us know the results.
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Old June 1st, 2005, 08:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips guys. Now, if the weather will just cooperate.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 10:25 AM   #7
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I'd also avoid auto white balance because it's trying its hardest to 'correct' for the colour of light it sees. To keep the deep reds of sunrise ands sunset put the camera on the 'daylight' w'bal setting.

Don't bother with a polariser as they'll only deepen a blue sky when used at 90 degrees to the sun, and you'll be filming at zero degrees. Rather than use extra NDs and polarisers, up the shutter speed to something like a 350th sec. When shooting the sun - or any very bright object - avoid using any filters whatsoever, as flare can be a major problem.

tom.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 02:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Harotunian
Just looking for some suggestions for a sunrise. I'll be out at twilight with a PD170-------

Thanks,
Bob
This time of year in Massachusetts, I'd suggest waiting about 8 hrs. and 35 min.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 01:31 PM   #9
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I tried it once and learned that auto exposure and manual focus are nescessery(i dunno how to spell it)
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