A second take from a great sunset that we experienced here in Perth back in late June. The previous photo had a more golden overtone to it as it was taken right after the sun went down. This one was about ten minutes later when the sky turned red in what was a kind of a second coming or rebirth of the sunset. Between the two moments, the sky "switched off" almost completely with the clouds going dark and grey. I thought for a second that the evening was done before it burst into life again.
That moment of lull was useful though, for finding a slightly different composition for this photo. I was hoping that the colour tones would progress and I did not want to continue with the same scene again. Where possible and when conditions are great, I usually look around to have two or three compositions in mind to try and use the available light to photograph different stages of sunset during the same outing. It is not always possible and I only do that once I am completely satisfied that I photographed the first scene as I envisioned.
Sometimes the moment of great light can be so fleeting that there is no chance to photograph other compositions. Sometimes I might notice the light and conditions change to the extent where my original location may not be the best to take advantage of these changes and I might be forced to move to an alternative spot. I think that making these choices comes with experience of photographing similar scenery over time. When shooting on the coast I can often read the waves, wind and light to have a good feeling of what can be expected (while still keeping an eye out for the unexpected). Using weather apps and monitoring the weather throughout the day can also help to be prepared for the conditions that will be waiting me when I head out for photography.
While I do use the technology to assist with planning, once I am out there it is more about feeling the scene for me. If there is no emotional connection to what I want to photograph then no amount of tech gear will make it any better for me. The same goes for various compositional theories, which while at the back of my mind never really take over my approach to photography. I tend to photograph what feels right rather than what looks right and I try to ensure that the essence of my vision is truly captured before moving onto post processing at home.
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