#3 Sunset over Sir Colin

The sun was setting today, as it does, so I tried to capture the last bits of light streaming onto the Sir Colin Campbell Building on the Innovation Park (where I work). I couldn’t really capture it the way I wanted to, either too dark or too light. So the picture below is as good as I managed.

[I’m using aperture priority mode at the moment. I set th eaperture and the camera is setting the shutter speed for me to get a decent overall exposure.]

Sun setting over the Sir Colin Campbell Building

Sir Colin's spaceship bathed in sunlight

I think the foreground of the image is overexposed (too dark). This has happened because the camera has automatically set the exposure (which happens on mine when the shutter button is pressed half way) based on a bright area of the metal skinned building.

I tried a different approach by using the cameras auto exposure lock (AE-L) button to get the auto exposure setting to set the level based on the darker sky rather than lighter building. This was awkward and needed more fingers than I own. I had to press the shutter button half way down, then press the AE-L button and move the camera back down away from the sky to the normal position. Then finish pressing the shutter.

The difference (below) is quite dramatic. Although the whole photo now seems over exposed based on how it looked in reality. And the sky is now very dull. I need some help getting this right.

Over exposed building

It wasn't as bright as this in reality - managed to over expose Sir Colin's spaceship

I found this article from Nikon that’s quite helpful on exposure settings.


  1. Adrian

    Loving following your progress – keep it up. Adam reckons you need to travel a bit further afield because you will have fired your big cannons early with photos of the Uni.

    Have you got filters is what I was wondering? I recall when I had an slr using a polarising filter all the time. i was never quite surre what all the yellow/red/etc ones did. I guess you can do this post photo now or does it make a difference using a filter at the time?

    • georgeerice

      Hi Adrian. When you see #4 you’ll know for sure that the big cannons were used too soon.
      I do have a UV filter, which is good for getting more colouir in dull skies and reducing glare. No other filters. I’m not going to be doing any post processing or cropping of the images on this site. As I am lazy, plus I think its cheating a bit.

  2. Dan

    You could just try exposure compensation instead of exposure lock but sometimes it’s impossible to match what your eyes see whatever you do because they have such amazing dynamic range.

    TBH, I think the first one looks pretty good exposure-wise anyway (although it’s so hard to tell without viewing on the same screen).

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