When I shoot sunsets I hope for bright colors and distinct patterns. I love it when the sky lights up with brilliant reds and pinks in a fire show of color and patterns. Sometimes, however, it doesn’t happen and I have to get creative to come home with something for my efforts. Some of the time I zoom in and try and capture a small, very small section of the sunset but when nothing at all is happening and I have nothing to hone in on I have to take a different approach.
I have learned, mostly by trial and error, a photographer learns a lot by pushing the limits of the camera and playing with the camera settings. I think most photographers get so accustomed to doing things the same old way, taking the same old pictures, because that is how it has always been done. There is nothing wrong with keeping with what works as much of the methods of photography these days are tried and true but sometimes we have to throw the rules out the window and improvise. That is what I like to do the most, break the rules but only after I have learned them.
These two images of the same sunset are a good representation of what I am referring to. This particular sunset had no color at all. In fact, when I went to upload the images I could not find a “normal” version of the sunset on my computer. Reason being I am sure I ended up not taking one because the sunset didn’t offer anything normal to photograph. What I had to do was tweak the setting in my camera on one and try a different photo editing on the other but it might surprise you to find out which was which. The soft blue version is actually the one straight out of the camera and the black and white is the one I ended up changing in a photo editing program to try something different.
I played around with the camera settings to help offset the lack of color and try to end up with something a bit different but still something truly “captured” by the camera and not a photo editing trick. Each time I go photo a sunset I end up trying a few different things with my camera to see what I can come up with. Most of the time, however, I admit it doesn’t work but occasionally, like on this particular sunset my efforts paid off. I am beginning to offer a hands on style of photography class to teach people some of these things I do to shoot sunsets in a different manner. Unlike boring class room settings my classes are hands on out in the field shooting. I am a true believer the only way one learns isn’t talking about photographing but rather just going out and doing it. No matter if the skill level is novice I can help one take a better photo almost immediately with my hands on style of outdoor photography class.