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Evening's Last Light, Point Lobos State Reserve

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 17 April 2010 in Landscape & Rural.


Northern Arizona: Grand Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Sedona Photo Workshop - May 3-7, 2010 (Sold Out - Waiting List Only)
Redwoods and Mendocino Coast Photo Workshop - June 15-18, 2010 (space available)
Kauai, Hawaii Photo Workshop - July 12-16, 2010 (space available)
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Arches/Canyonlands Photo Workshop - November 3-7, 2010 (1 spot left)
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Here is one more image from our last sunset shoot from my spring Big Sur workshop. This is the first time I have ever had the opportunity to shoot south down the coastline as these beautiful clouds hung in and were bathed by warm sunset light.

Really not much I can say about this image, other than it is the result of anticipating the light and conditions. Approximately 30 minutes prior to posted sunset, I began looking around for possibilities for a sunset image. Most of the workshop participants were photographing along the north end of Point Lobos State Reserve and were seemingly content with the beauty around them. I feel it really behooves a photographer to plan a sunset/sunrise image, and part of that involves reading the light and conditions. As I mentioned, these clouds appeared to be sticking around, and at a time were actually increasing in size and density. This was a view from the far northern end of the reserve looking south down over Sea Lion Point. The sun was off to my right and descending rapidly. If conditions held (and you can see that they did) I knew the underside of these clouds would catch the warm sunset light.

I began alerting my workshop participants of the possibility of what I had anticipated. Most that heard me began to look for a position to set their tripods. We discussed the importance of allowing a beautiful sky more prominence in the composition, though certainly the foreground for this image was also beautiful. I choose a 3/5th - 2/5th compositional relationship, but was careful to allow enough of the Cypress trees, which are the predominant attraction on the northern end of the Reserve, to be included. This meant shooting with my 16-35 mmL at the full 16 mm setting.

With such a wide angle lens, one must also be careful about unnatural polarization marks, I reminded the group to not simply maximize the polarizer; instead, I instructed them to turn slowly an allow the scene to look natural. Lastly, I used a 3-stop Singh-Ray GND to knock down the exposure of the sky and allow it to blend naturally with the foreground elements and water.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 3/5 seconds F/16.0 ISO 200 16 mm

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