Flash Point: Scott Thomas’s favorite Great Lakes shot

We asked Great Lakes photographers to send us their favorite and toughest Great Lakes shot. Scott Thomas of Scott Thomas photography sent us this photo.

Star Burst Sunset

A favorite daily ritual of people who live or vacation along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario is coming down to the beach each evening to watch the sunset from spring to fall. Most nights the show is spectacular with deep colors that paint any clouds in the sky the lower the Sun gets on the horizon. I have witnessed many nights Nature was given a standing ovation for her efforts.

This day was not one of them. Most people had given up on the sunset and left the beach on this chilly evening. I set up my tripod at the edge of the pebble beach not far from Port Ontario. While not a tough shot to photograph, it required me to have some foresight as to what would occur. I noticed the sun track through the cloud bank and the opening near the horizon it would pass through as it set. I knew when the sun did appear it would be between the clouds and the lake. This would create a small, bright light source like a large lamp versus a large golden ball normally seen as the sun sets. I guessed correctly and it even created a beautiful star effect with the lens on my camera.

The tough part was working with the photo afterward in the computer to bring out all the detail in the lake and clouds around the bright star burst. I learned a lot from this sunset and it has become my favorite from Lake Ontario.

-Scott Thomas

5 thoughts on “Flash Point: Scott Thomas’s favorite Great Lakes shot

  1. Scoop,

    I used a method called High Dynamic Range (HDR) to blend three images together. One image is exposed for the highlights, the second is exposed for the dark or lowlights and the third is the “correct” exposure. Because the Sun is so bright, it can never be correctly exposed and looks fine all super bright.

    Once blended, all the textures found in the dark clouds and waves come out. The highlights (except for the Sun) gets pulled back to reveal the burst rays and the reflections in the surf and stones.

  2. Terrific work, would love to hear about how you brought out all the colors and details on the computer.

  3. Terrific Photo!!!! All the right subject components and balance. The cloud formation, the sunset star formation and light, as well as the waves all come together to create the perfect picture. As it is said, a picture is worth a thousand words.

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