Spaceship Earth Fountain Sunset

The Spaceship Earth fountain has been utilized in many of my Spaceship Earth shots to add additional interest. There’s a lot you can do with to enhance your foreground and it’s especially great at night with the smooth long exposure water. I knew I wanted to shoot some sunset pics from in front of Spaceship Earth this trip and undoubtedly a few would feature the fountain. With that in mind I knew I wanted the smooth long exposure water even though I would be shooting straight into the sun.

Shooting/Editing Spaceship Earth Fountain Sunset

Now normally this is a shot I would have shot bracketed hand held in the past, but that would not have gotten me the smooth water. Therefore I shot this on a tripod and used a Progrey 7 stop ND filter along with my Nikon 14-24 2.8 so that I could shoot straight into the sun and still slow the shutter down just enough to get the nice smooth water. I did a 5 exposure bracket but ultimately only used 2 shots, a 2 second base exposure and an underexposure for the sky. I masked them together with a luminosity mask, ran the Nik Color Efex Pro Contrast filter on the combined result and did some slight adjustments to vibrance and saturation. I finished it off with my round of sharpening per usual. Ultimately the editing itself was very very simple but I never could have gotten this result without the proper setup and forethought shooting it in the field. This is a great example of how getting something right in camera can save you a ton of time in post. I spent less than 10 minutes to edit this one from start to finish.