Scavenging for Sunset Photos

I saw this photo idea on Pinterest and remembered a nice place to get a wide shot of skies. My purpose? To show SK skies transforming from fluffy clouds to a majestic magenta sunset. We aren’t called “Land of the Living Skies” for nothing.

I staged my spots so I would take the same photo each time. I didn’t touch the legs on my tripod and I used environmental cues like leaning the tripod against a special fence post or lining my camera button up with the tree line.

I also happened to stumble into an area with a nearby wildfire where firefighters were out in full force. I am learning as a photographer that you have to answer the door when opportunity knocks because you don’t just get to photograph open flames and smoke every day! I took some photos then casually swung my camera the other way to photograph the creek.

Here are three cropped and filtered photos. One of the fire and two just of the beautiful sky.

My afternoon shots were good but evening not so much. I realized this is what I need to do next time: map out a good spot OF A SUNSET and take a quick photo to remember. Then come back the next day to start business. Work backwards because my purpose was a nice sunset… So find nice sunset and track its time first. I did not check the weather or my location and overall it was just not good for a sunset. Also next time I thought I should find a more interesting foreground with a specific point for the eye to focus OR I should find a way to naturally frame it (as I crossed the railroad tracks I realized the two vertical bars would make a perfect frame and possibly silhouette).
I Googled whether or not there is a good direction to take sunset photos. I never found an answer but this site did confirm my thoughts about planning ahead and showing more sky than I did in this shoot, and about focusing on a foreground object. I had completely forgotten I could do silhouettes too (would not have worked with the weather and lighting anyway). Also a further investigation into this string of posts uncovered this beautiful Suncalc app that gives the sun’s exact location anywhere in the world! Check it out, it is a cool visual!

Wish me luck on future sunset endeavours. For now check out my timelapse photos minus the spectacular sunset.

Here are two different blending versions I did:


I also documented how I set them up to rotate them. I did not explain blending – it seems straightforward to me, erasing/deleting where artistically necessary!

Overall I did not like the final product, BUT I liked the process. Another day I will take better photos and try this again. 🙂

To end on a good note: Here is a beginning-of-Spring plantlife shot I took while crouched on my gravel walkway. UNEDITED! Out with the old, in with the new!

Every photo with this blurb is unedited and no filter. So happy with how they turned out. Today was a juxtaposition of end of life (a fire) and new life (plant growth at the beginning of spring). These shots are the beginning of life. I followed the gener



The next day I thought about what I had reflected on (using silhouettes, waiting for a nice bright sky, finding the right direction to take photos, having focal points) and saw a bit of pink sky out to the West, so I packed up and headed to the train tracks. Completely spur of the moment (no tripod or remote shutter or anything) I got this snap, as a train was coming towards me. Like I say, you really gotta be an opportunist, and strike when the moment is right.


One thought on “Scavenging for Sunset Photos

  1. Pingback: Photography Learning Summary & Final Reflections | Taylor Harder's Teaching Blog

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