Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Turner sunset visits the city

Last night we had a post-storm sunset over the New York that would have made the painter, William Turner, envious. Turner sunsets tend to dominate his scenes, while the main subject takes a subsidiary role. A volcanic eruption in Indonesia filling the earth's atmosphere with gases and ash is said to have contributed to the brilliant red and yellow colors seen during European sunsets at the time.

Sun setting over a Lake, c. 1840, by Joseph Mallard William Turner

Borrowing from Turner's technique, I allowed the magnificent sunset shape of clouds and color to over-power most of the composition with Manhattan and the Hudson River playing a minor role below it.

The sunset lasted for less than five minutes and was at its peak right at sunset. I used a Leica M 240 and Leica Summilux 35mm lens set to f/5.6.  You never quite know when a sunset will be at its peak so I always wait out the scene for 15 minutes before and after the actual sunset time.

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