Shanty Hallow: How I Captured An Amazing Sunset
Shanty Hallow is a good place to get away and do a little day hike. It is right outside Bowling Green and an awesome spots for WKU students to catch a break from their dorm and studies. My girlfriend and I like to head out to Shanty pretty often to exercise the dogs, they love to hit the trails and with this being one of the closest places we head out there pretty often.
I typically always have my camera and this time had a little extra gear stashed in the car from a shoot the day before. So when we saw the colors over the lake at sunset I pulled out the tripod, neutral density filters, and I started adjusting the settings on my camera to get the best shot. These photos are shot with a Canon t3i, the lens I was using was an 18-200mm telephoto lens with a ND8 filter. The camera settings were IS0-100 f/22 and the shutter was a mixture between 3-8 seconds.
The Neutral Density filters are what make these pictures stand out so much. The filters are able to bring out the color in the image and help keep the sky and water from being blown out. While we were able to see the sky as very blue and purple the camera could not capture that. So the filters were what helped it capture the colors in the sky and it also helped show the reflections on the water that even the naked eye could not see as well as the camera was.
Then lastly we all have to touch up our photos a tad in Photoshop, the one thing I always preach is grab a few extra cards and shoot RAW. You have some much power in post if your photos are RAW. When you open them in Photoshop's "Camera RAW" you will be able to fix white balance, exposure, and all of that. You can correct minor mistakes and bring a little more color out. The key thing here though is, don't over do your images and make sure that they look realistic. The best photos are the ones that look like something we would see everyday, too much Photoshop is easily noticed and makes your viewers wish they could see the true image.
The best way to capture photos like this would be get some filters and then get out and start playing with you camera and settings. I personally just got the filters and this was only my second time using them. I plan to learn more and capture even better photos.
A little about Michael Cheser, the founder of Natural Visions Media.
I have been shooting for quite sometime now, I believe I started around age 14 with a small coolpix point and shoot camera. I kept going and eventually took some filmmaking classes at Bullitt East High School. During my senior year in high school I decided that I wanted to go to Western Kentucky University to study film and that is what I have done.
Now setting here waiting on Christmas break to end and my last semester of college to start I am digging deeper into what exactly I want my career to be. In 2014 I decided to change the name of my production company, I had the stereotypical name of Michael Cheser Productions. It is the name that everyone uses, however I did not want to limit myself to only myself, I enjoyed working in teams and a company name that could give way for more artists was what I wanted. When looking at what exactly I was creating I realized that a name that had something to do with the outdoors was best. However it had to be a name that would not limit me to outdoor work only. My roommate and I sat down one evening just throwing names down on the table and discussing different things. We decided upon Natural Visions Media in the end and I believe that it was the most creative and had the most meaning to it for what we were doing. Natural Visions was a name that could be used for a company who shoots weddings, music videos, or one who has to scale the sides of mountains to capture the best shots.
The meaning of Natural Visions goes deeper than some words thrown down on the kitchen table, Natural Visions is the idea that not only myself and my company can create a new and natural feel in our work but anyone who follows our work and becomes inspired by what we do. Natural Visions is meant to be the capturing of exactly what we see, we do not want to manipulate our work to be something different, we want to capture each moment and share it with you how it happened. We strive to get others to do the same as well and use the hashtag #NaturalVisions on their photos and videos. We want Natural Visions to not just be a company but a community of people who enjoy capturing their visions. So while it has an outdoor style name, which is what our focus is driven toward, it can also be used in everything because in the end it is your Natural Vision that you are capturing and creating.
This is who I am and what I have created, I have changed my plans to work in the Hollywood film industry and try and more competitive and difficult field of outdoor and travel photography and videography. I urge everyone who's out there to try and create something of their own and test their equipment to the max, get out there and be a little risky because the best shots are the hardest to get.