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Resist The Cliché Sunsets

Sunsets over large bodies of water can often be hard to photograph since it’s so cliché to have that “perfect” sunset photo that we have all seen a million times with the over saturated purple clouds, the orange sun reflecting on the sand, and the perfect silhouette of a seagull flying off into the sunset. While that sounds nice, I like to go against the grain and create art that stands out.

I always try to find interesting foreground elements to draw my viewer’s eyes right into the main subject matter of the photograph. If I can’t find a good foreground, I usually put on my telephoto lens and narrow my composition to focus in on one compelling portion of the scene. 

This sunset was one of those times where I could not find anything interesting to place in the foreground as a complimentary element. However, I decided to hang around past sunset just to see if any lasting colors would appear, and I was hoping something special would happen being that I was out there in the middle of a thunderstorm where colors can really pop out of nowhere at any minute.

Wide Or Telephoto? That Is The Question…

About 15 minutes after the sun had completely disappeared behind the horizon, the sky was lit on fire by some of the vibrant colors I have ever seen on location. There was just one problem: I still hadn’t found a good enough composition to make a good photo, but I knew I was on very limited time. I tried the only other option I had and snapped on my 70-200 lens to get a very simple composition of the colors without any distractions blocking the magic that was happening in the clouds.

In the end, it worked out quite nicely, and I also learned that simple compositions can easily be as powerful as huge landscape vistas with amazing foregrounds. I hope you all take something away from this experience like I did. 🙂

-Eric


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