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Sunset in my hometown behind the scenes

By @ijyoyo | Feburary 19 2020 | Envision

Things aren’t always how they seem. Last week, I was happy to share my photoshoot photos with Tee from our valentines day photoshoot as well as some amazing valentine photoshoot ideas. Hopefully everyone else found something to keep them busy whether they had a significant other or not on valentines day, I certainly did.

Before I get into editing I’ll tell explain why I decided to go out this night in particular, it’s close to me. Feel free to skip this if you just want to get into how I edit and shoot, no problem!

The Daily

Big gym guy. I try and get to the gym at least 5 times a week, and it helps me quite a bit. I find it helps a lot after online classes and editing all day long haha. It also helps me refocus and change moods from my creative side to my more logical side. I also get my daily dose of music, which is awesome.

Valentine's day it was interesting to see who returned for their own daily dose, and best to them, I was one in the crowd. It felt like any other day besides the valentine's day posts. I found some amazing photos from that day, check them out.

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A post shared by Jacob Durbin (@jacobdurbin)

Something about the day made me happy. Happy to see so much joy. As the day drawn to the end I wasn’t expecting much surprises at all, I was finishing creating some TikTok’s and listening to more music.

My phone rang at around 1 am. It was one of my good friends from Madison, he sounded normally but it was odd for him to call at night. I felicity asked what was up, I hadn’t seen him in a month or so and was excited for the unexpected call. His voice dropped and explained the devastating news, one of my best friends had passed.

Now, throughout the week, I’ve been taking breaks to hear my thoughts. I think one of my favorite platforms for stress relieving is through sunsets, music and the gym.

But it was okay, and i’ll tell you why.

Happiness & sunsets

I read a great book before this occurred called Solve for Happy Phenomenal book that I showcased in my previous vlog on Youtube. I won’t get into detail in this blog, but you should check it out. I ran out for sunset a few days later, to further my goal of finding cool sunsets and cool places.

Creating a map

Maps? Yeah… google maps! I plan almost all my shoots on google maps. The first time this fall scouting the Third Ward and downtown Milwaukee ended with a few good pictures but a lot more frigid and no clouds- I’m a big cloud lover too.

Milwaukee Building 2021 It’s funny now that I think of it, I had been to this location before while biking in the summer. It had a great setup and I thought the location was great- just far and needed planning ahead of time.

That shoot included me biking around the city trying to find interesting things to shoot. I eventually found myself around 7 miles away from where I lived. It was great to know a few new places to go and shoot later. This was also back in fall where it was easier to bike without fighting off the cold.
So with this mental map of the general location and the landscape of the city I used a photographer tool that would allow me to Narrow down where the sun was to set. The light hit the city in a specific way from the left side which I had liked from that perspective during golden hour.

Person standing infront of vibrant sunsets I hopped on a bus (with a book of course) and then got off in the Third Ward to walk by foot around the location. Luckily most of the sidewalks were shoveled, the snow piles were almost as big as me! (I’m 5’3)

I gave myself an hour and a half before sunset to find a great location and get some B-roll shots for this photoshoot. I also knew it was going to be a slight hike around the city.

This is what I found the most fascinating about this particular walk was the similarity between an actual hike and a city hike with loads of camera gear and jackets that could compete with the cascades.

Sunset Shooting

I walked along the side of a construction site looking for different buildings/ hills and areas I could shoot from for unique perspectives. One big part of being a photographer in the city- especially the stuff I do- is to just get comfortable and be friendly.

I walked around buildings holding up my camera to see if I had liked the light or not. Then I would decide if I would click, or just keep going.

sunset and clouds person standing infront of sunset I setup my camera around 4 different times to take timelapses. These timelapses I had planned in my head and on Notes generally. 30 frames per second * 3 = 3 seconds of footage. I also quickly decided how long I wanted the duration for the delay to be. This was important to actually show some motion in the image. I pointed my camera towards the sky with the main movement occurring from the clouds. These turned out as I had liked.

A little while after I walked up the stairs of the bridge. On the bridge I set up my camera again at a low angle and started a timelapse. However this time it was much shorter because I wanted to do more photos during sunsets besides just the two timelapses.

This was the funniest part of the shoot. After the timelapse finished I quickly moved my camera towards the road and the path. This is where I get in the picture. Because I was already using the timelapse mode , I set it up for 10 photographs , 2-3 seconds a part. During this time I posed in different interesting ways. This included standing, running, jumping. Some fun ones, I should note that these photos here are exclusive to the website. person standing infront of sunset

The street was not busy at all since it was rush hour….

Sunset Camera Settings

I’ll get straight to it for those who are wondering, How do I take sunset photos? What are the best sunset photography settings? *

My camera gear includes a Canon EOS RP, a Canon 24-105mm and an unmarked tripod. This shoot I didn’t bring too much gear.

Generally I like to shoot underexposed during sunset. Underexposed means darker than usual to keep any detail in the highlights that are essential for sunsets. Depending on your camera's dynamic range this can change.

sunset cloud image I also used a narrower aperture at f/11 to get detail in the foreground and the background of the image. After trial and error I have found this to be my preferred way to take sunset photographs, because it is always for the clouds to be in focus and have some crispness to them!

Iphone Tips

Some Iphone tips for taking photos include using the brightness slider to turn down the exposure. Basically you want to tap on the sunset sky and then drag the slider to the left to bring down the exposure.

Another tip is actually editing the photo in a photo editor to bring out the yellows and magentas a tad. You can learn more about the importance of different editing apps here

*It should be noted that these settings are what I use for my specific Canon EOS RP and Canon 24-105mm, adjust your settings accordingly to the Light and your Camera

Editing Sunset Photoshoots

Sunset photoshoots are one of the best things to edit. You get to feel the energy of the sunset as you are editing! I would like to mention that I almost always shoot raw when shooting sunset. This way I can maintain all the data that was given during a photoshoot and also change the temperature in post.

Often time the sun gets blocked by the clouds or buildings and this can have a huge effect to your final images. So I usually have the temperature on my camera on cloudy/sunny or a warm kelvin. But often I change this in post to a warmer and magenta feel to it.

Although I do use some presets for my presets to have a consistent flow, often these don’t work depending on the angle or the direction of light.

I would suggest to first mess with the temperature and tint and then go onto basic exposure to brighten the image.

I then continue on down to the tone curve where I make a slight S curve, and decide if I want to clip the blacks or not.

Instagram carosull sunset Another key part of my personal editing style is changing the hue and saturation of some colors. The color that usually doesn’t work with sunset is green. Green I often use the lightness and bring that up, while the saturation I bring down.

The yellows/Oranges I usually bring up as well. Those are some basic color settings that I do while I am editing a photograph.

Happy Endings

I started this article off from where we were last time, a valentines shoot. I then shared some of my experience and why I went out for this particular shoot. And Finally I wanted to share some sunset photography tips if you are interested in my own process and some ways to get started and discover some new techniques!

Through reading Solve for Happiness, the author's son unexpectedly passes away. The author explains in detail about ways to maintain happiness even in the worst of times. It has really revitalized how I look at things. And although I am still going through grief and pain, I feel more comfortable with it. Thank you for checking out this article, have a fantastic day.

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