Country Sunset

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The cloud formations in the mornings and evenings have been works of art over the last few days. I missed a chance Saturday evening to catch a beautiful sunset, so I jumped at the opportunity on Sunday to catch some evening light. I already had in mind where I would go. While I knew what my subject was going to be and even knew the foreground, I did not know exactly how they would all come together for a good composition. Thankfully I had good access to the field and was able park safely off the road. I settled on some wide angle shots that would capture as much sky as possible.

It was clear that the white fence was going to be a big part of the picture. I just had to figure out the roll it would play. Shooting the fence straight on looked boring to me, so I decided to have the fence lead into the picture. I had just enough light to produce detail in the fence and grass and still retain a colorful sky. This would have been a good task for HDR, but I lean more toward traditional photography and choose to use filters and other tools to get the shot. Don’t get me wrong, I have a HDR program and I shoot HDR from time to time. I just find it more rewarding producing images in the traditional manner. After I decided on the fence’s roll, I had to determine the angle of the fence and where the setting sun was going to be placed. Using the rule of thirds, I placed the fence and ground in the lower third of the frame and placed the setting sun to the right. I had to squat in an uncomfortable position to put the sun just above the fence. With a steady hand and the help of an image stabilized camera, I was able to squeeze off a sharp frame.


If you spend enough time watching sunsets and sunrises, you know that some of the most interesting light happens thirty minutes before sunrise and thirty minutes after sunset. Knowing this I waited and watch the sun go below the horizon. It was not long after the sun had set that the sky started to put on another show. Suddenly the clouds started to bleed red. It was a cool and scary sight to see. Since this was happening high in the sky, I had the choice to just shoot the sky or try to add some perspective adding a silhouette of the ground below. I chose the latter. I think this bit of perspective showing the silhouette of the hill and the small phone tower in the lower right of the frame made a better picture. This cloud phenomenon lasted less than 5 minutes. It came and it went. This brings up another subject that I may elaborate on at another time. I believe the camera has to become an extension of the photographer; meaning that it does not get in the way. For this to happen, you have to know the fundamentals and know your personal camera. It is kind of like picking up a hammer. You don’t look at the hammer or make adjustments to the hammer. You simply pick it up and start hammering. The same goes for photography. If you are too busy fumbling with your camera, you will miss the moment. On the other hand, if you understand the needed exposure and know where the focus and aperture needs to be for your subject, getting the shot becomes much easier and faster. Anyway I hope you enjoyed these images. Thanks for the visit!

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