Sunset on Douglas Channel, Kitimat

Robin Rowland 


Kitimat, BC is far enough north that in this time of year as we approach the solstice, the summer evenings are long, not the midnight sun of the arctic, but dusk continues for a couple of hours after the sun sets and the pre-dawn twilight comes after just a few hours of darkness.

On Saturday night it was relatively late and as I glimpsed out my front window, I saw that the setting sun was illuminating just one last peak in Douglas Channel down from Kitimat harbour. Grabbed a camera and quickly walked down to a park about half a block away, where there is a great view of the channel.The first  image of the peak was shot at 9:41:21 pm.

The image above was taken about four minutes later, at 9:45 as the sun was going down behind the mountains, leaving just the peak and one pinkish wisp of cloud above the peak,  perhaps looking a little like smoke from a volcano.

This panorama was taken about 9:44 pm about  minute before the image abov.

400-June-18-Sunset-3.jpgOne of my projects is to  shoot panoramas of  Douglas Channel from that park as often as I can.  With the weather systems coming up the channel from the ocean, creating a micro-environment of  sun, sea, wind and clouds, the scene and the light often changes  every five minutes, so, if the day was good, you could shoot panoramas all day and each one would be different (a part of the project which is on my to do list).

The series of shots in this panorama were taken with my Sony Alpha 700, ISO 1600, 200mm lens, 1/250, f8. Stitched with Kolor Autopano Pro and if printed at full size would be: 300 dpi, 39 inches by 15 inches.

And oh yes, on many of these pano pictures, I break the rules.   The camera is hand held.  It started last summer, soon after I arrived in Kitmat, when I was walking down by the park, camera in hand and got the idea to try panoramas.   Not that I don’t use a tripod with a pan head for some of the images, but most often like Saturday, the ever changing light calls for a quick reaction, grab the camera and get  down to the park.  The stitching can be jagged along the edges, but the water is always centered and so the jaggies are cropped.

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Robin Rowland