This 50 Image Composite of Hong Kong’s Sunset Looks Like a Gorgeous Painting

Image by Lucan Coutts. Used with permission.

Photographer Lucan Coutts is quite obviously a fantastic photographer. This is not only proven by his beautiful vistas, but his conceptual work as well. It’s not often that we see conceptual landscape or cityscape photography, but when we do it’s often absolutely jaw dropping as the process involves the skill of both capturing and creating instead of one or the other. That’s what Lucan created when he shared this image of Hong Kong as it transitioned to sunset.

The image upon first looks seems like something that got messed up when Photoshop tried to merge the images together. But that’s not the case at all. As Lucan tells Reddit:

I took 575 photos at 10-second intervals over the course of two hours. From this photoset, I selected 50 photos and stacked them in Photoshop. I measured each strip and applied a mask to each layer for this effect.

This is Hong Kong Island as viewed from the peak of Braemar Hill – hands down my favourite spot to watch the sunset. On this evening, cloud cover was far too heavy for a colourful sunset. As the clouds rolled through, there was a small break in the sky, revealing a few pink clouds waaayy off in the distance. Within minutes.. the sky exploded with light and displayed the most vibrant colours that I have ever seen in my life.

I’ve done similar things before where Photoshop Elements would create something that more or less looked like Cubism. But their algorithms don’t seem to create those happy accidents anymore because they’re just so darned perfect. Instead, the design of this image is very intentional as Lucan explains in his process.

Lucan tells us he shot the image using a Canon 6D and Rokinon 14mm f2.8. His Canon 6D was running Magic Lantern–as that’s the cheapest way to really take advantage of something like timelapse with a camera like that. Of course, you could buy an external intervalometer but then you’ll need to drop some money on such a thing. What would’ve been really interesting is to see how this would have fared as a multiple exposure as the Canon 6D has that ability. Be sure to also follow Lucan on Instagram.