This particular evening I decided to go to a wildlife refuge that has a lookout area and see if I could get some good wildlife pictures. While there were plenty of geese around in the fields none were in close enough range to get great pictures. Also my not thinking ahead had me shooting into the sun not optimal for moving wildlife. As the sun started to dip below the trees I decided to go for broke and head to the lake just down the road. I knew I
was taking a chance and missing the golden hour if i didn’t find somewhere to set up as the sun was setting fast.
Lucky for me after parking and a quick game of human frogger crossing the highway I found a beautiful area to set up and start clicking. Click I did I stood there playing, clicking, adjusting settings, clicking, playing with my CPL filter, clicking. Over 200 photos from this one site. The lower the sun got the more the colors changed. Painting the water and streaking the sky.
I tried everything slow shutter speed, fast shutter speed, open aperture, stopped down aperture. I even laid on the ground and attempted to get some of the drift wood in the foreground. That one didn’t work as well.
Then the wind eased up and adding a slower shutter speed I got this one. The water is almost glass like. A perfect reflection of the clouds and sun streaked sky. Objects in the foreground and background to give you a sense of depth. There was no, none, zero, zilch photoshopping these images. I did make some adjustments in Lightroom but no huge touch ups or layers in Photoshop. I got my settings right, cropped in camera, used the right filter, and BAM!! This deeply colored beauty. Can you tell I’m pleased with it.
I did intentionally take 4 different pictures at 4 different exposures with the plan to do an HDR. While You can definately see more detail on the shore line and in the trees. I dont like it as well as the darker, deeper colored images. Maybe if i had more of a subject in the foreground it would work to get everything in proper exposuure. But the subject is the sky the water and the colors.
All in all I turned out to be very happy to take the chance and move locations. These pictures are totally worth it. Yes every article I’ve read talks about plan ahead, scout your locations, be prepared blah blah blah. That might work for those fancy schmancy “paid” photographers. But not for me I’m a lone wolf, a renegade, and well stuck with a “job” and a mortgage.