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Late December Sunset in Phoenix

Phoenix sunsets are incredible. I’ve read that pollution is partly responsible for the dramatic colors. I don’t doubt that, but I’m not also sure how accurate that is. I could tell that the sunset on Christmas was going to be impressive, so I hopped in the car and drove along Camelback looking for a place to get a good shot.

I had to drive further than I thought. I ended up stopping in the parking lot of Rosie McCaffrey’s and at Xavier. The shot at Xavier is an HDR combination of two photos. I usually avoid HDR images because they don’t appeal to me all that much, but I couldn’t figure out how to get a decent exposure on the building without using HDR.

Phoenix Sunset, Christmas Day. Fujifilm XH1. 400 | f/4 | 1/2500th.

Phoenix Sunset, Christmas Day. Fujifilm XH1. 400 | f/4 | 1/2500th.

Phoenix Sunset, Christmas Day. Fujifilm XH1. Fujifilm XH1. HDR image.

Phoenix Sunset, Christmas Day. Fujifilm XH1. Fujifilm XH1. HDR image.

Initially I tried to combine 3 photos for the HDR, but I didn’t like how they were combining in Lightroom. One of the photos had, as you’d expect, a decent exposure on the building with the sky and highlights overexposed. But every time I combined the images, the building ended up being dark. I thought maybe by using two images I could better force Lightroom’s hand. Still no luck. I’m probably doing something wrong. In the end I had to push up the exposure and the shadows.