Mt Tolmie Sunset – Victoria, BC

Mt Tolmie Sunset – HDR image, ISO 100, 16mm, f/8.0, 1/13 sec. Canon 5DM3 with Tripod

Mt Tolmie Sunset – Victoria, BC

After spending a couple hours walking around photographing random items I noticed the sun going down. Because the last week has been very overcast I have not had a chance to get any sunset shots. So I quickly walked home, grabbed my tripod and 16-35mm lens, and drove tot he top of Mt. Tolmie. There was a small crowd already present to witness the sunset. I quickly set up and started shooting.

Up until now I have always used the built in HDR feature on the 5DM3. It limits you to three exposures only. It also generates an HDR image which can take a few seconds. I always found this to be really annoying as the HDR image created by the camera is never how I intend my images to look.

On this shoot I decided to use the auto bracketing instead. This allows me to take up to 7 images. I believe I set my bracketing interval to be at 2/3 of a stop. I then set the camera to Aperture priority and let it do its thing. When creating the HDR image in Photomatix Pro I discarded the two brightest exposures as there was not any useful light available in them and they would have skewed the final image to being much brighter than I intended.  Besides the normal tweaks I do in Lightroom I also did a bit of dodging and burning, as well as blending the HDR image back into one of the original RAW images that I had also tweaked in Lightroom. I added some gaussian blur to the grassy areas to make them seem a bit more glowey-ish…

This image was created from the first set of exposures I took. I probably shot for a total of 20 minutes and ended up with about 15 or 20 different compositions. I have noticed that I often end up using the first image in a set. I have no idea why this is. I would assume that I would be able to get better compositions as an event unfolds, but so often I end up using my first grouping. I still don’t trust myself enough to rely on this though. I will continue to shoot more and see if this has just been coincidence or if there is a realy pattern developing.

Growing up one of my biggest dreams was to explore the world. Honestly I never thought this would become reality. But at the end of 2014 I quit my job as a project manager to do just that. I sold most everything I own, packed up the remaining boxes in storage, and set out to see the world. My goals while traveling are to meet people everywhere I go, work on becoming a better photographer, and attempt to stay where the weather is not freezing. Along the way I am posting photos at and writing about my experiences at