The sunsets in Dallas lately have been just wonderful but different.  They’re not the sunsets that are colorful all the way through but rather you’ll think it’s going to wash out and then all of a sudden the sky explodes with color!  I call them Hope Sunsets, because, as a photographer, sometimes you have to get set up for a shot and just kinda hope the sky colors up.

That’s how I arrived at one of Dallas’s iconic Traveling Man sculptures.  I had seen that the clouds were moving west to east and I knew that the Traveling Man made for a nice subject with downtown Dallas as its backdrop, so I went out there with the intention of doing a super long exposure shot to capture some motion in the clouds, hoping that the sky would color up.  I figured if the sky never got any color it could be a good black and white image.  I set up for the long exposure and got a great 2-minute exposure so I decided to go for 4 minutes.  In the middle of the 4 minutes the sky exploded in color!  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and ended up capturing one of my favorite Dallas images of all time!

a statue of a man in a city

For the photographers: I shot this using my Fuji GFX 50s camera with the Canon 24mm tilt-shift lens (via a Techart adapter).  In front of the lens I had a Lee Big Stopper 10-stop neutral density filter (in order to get a super long exposure).  Settings were as follows:

  • Aperture: f7.1
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 4 minutes

I then took another picture about 10 minutes later, having not moved the tripod at all.  That was about a 2.5 second exposure (with no ND filter) just to capture the building lights.

Post processing was a bit complex but nothing too bad.  The main part was blending the building lights in with the long exposure frame.  Once that was blended well I just had to get the crop right and things were ready to go!

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