Telephoto Zoom Experiments
Cotton Candy Sunset
Finding pink when zooming into the horizon
I recently bought my wife a 500mm f/8 manual telephoto lens, for her birthday. She is big on photographing the moon with her Pixel phone — but computational photography can only get you so far. She has been enjoying her moonshots with the telephoto.
“But then, why just the moon?” I asked myself.
And so, I took the telephoto lens and pointed it at a sunset.
In the picture above I show where the telephoto lens is pointed at. It is a lovely picture of an orange sunset. I specifically focused on the cropped region that I show below.
When I shot the views of the orange horizon (to the left and right of the tree) I found an unexpected color. Instead of more orange, I found pink.
On your Right
The opening photograph of this story — “Cotton Candy” — is what I captured from the right side of the horizon. I never expected pink.
I shot the remaining photos of those clouds in quick succession while only lowering the shutter speed from ¼ in “Cotton Candy”, to ¹⁄₁₆ in “Dark Pink” below. I maintained ISO at 100.
The ever-darkening shades of pink were beautiful.
On your Left
By the time I panned the camera to the left, the sun was setting quickly. I reset the shutter speed to capture the last bits of fading light and caught a clear, sharp view of a pole of some sort — almost like a sentry standing its post, guarding the hilltop — against some wispy, pink clouds.
This telephoto lens taught me something about color: there is more to colors in nature than meets the eye.
Also, computational photography from our iPhones and Pixels hold no candle to the power of a well-built, manual, telephoto lens. 🔭