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Watching the Sunset, San Mateo Coast, CA

Posted by
Vaibhav (Stanford, United States) on 19 November 2010 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

This photo was made about an hour before the previous one. The light show just after the sun dipped below the horizon was spectacular with clouds getting lit and changing hues from saturated orange to rich crimson.
The only issue was that I cannot move much from my place as I needed the very spot for the lighthouse show (afraid that somebody else might grab it).

I started with a wide angle lens set at 24mm but soon realized that the light is good only in a localized area over the ocean. Focal lengths around 24mm captured too much in the scene which distracted the eye. So I zoomed in to about 35mm and created more powerful images (maybe posted here later). But I still wanted to create something which shows the vastness of the ocean. I needed some strong silhouette to allow an anchor point and mask the distractions away. Too bad there was neither a tree nor a big rock nearby and eventually I decided to use myself in the frame. I stood on the edge, balancing myself with the clouds, placed the tripod about 8 feet away with the lens set at 24mm and made this photo. Since I was only interested in silhouettes, I underexposed the sky to saturate the color even further.

Post processing was fairly simple, just adjusting routine stuff in in raw file followed by mild sharpening and conversion to jpeg. Would love to hear your opinions on this experiment and any suggested improvements are more than welcome.

NIKON D700 1/3 second F/14.0 ISO 200 24 mm (35mm equiv.)

1/3 second
ISO 200
24 mm (35mm equiv.)