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Golden Sunsets and Fat Man Pants

13 02 2012

I left work today to go meet up with my dad to see the Safe House movie. Incidentally it was a pretty good movie if you like action thriller with a hint of corrupt international politics. I was about halfway there when I noticed the way the sunset was going down behind a few lone trees. I pulled over to get a few shots. My 70-200mm was on my camera from a portrait shoot I did yesterday so I decided to start with it, I also slipped my 60mm macro into my back pocket.

golden sunset through dark trees

One of the biggest problems with having a great sunset like this is it makes us want to capture exactly what we see. This has alwaysΒ frustratedΒ me.Β The biggest internal battles I have always faced as a photographer is my desire to capture what I see versus the desire to create art. ShootAbout is more about art. I want to capture pictures that require more than the right place and the right time. It’s certainly not an exact science, but it’s simple enough to take a few steps in the right direction. The tool that has helped me most so far, is my macro lens.

Using a macro lens pushes you to look at things in a way you haven’t before and that was my first step to changing the way I shoot. Eventually it will bleed over to the rest of the lenses in your bag and you’ll start to see the world differently.

I had a walked a good ways from my car by now and was ready to switch lenses for the walk back. I pulled the 60mm macro lens out of my pocket, switched them over and came to a sudden realization. A 70-200mm lens is way bigger than a 60mm…

Fortunately, I was wearing my “fat man pants” today (Finally losing weight again πŸ™‚ ) The large lens fit in my back pocket though barely. (Today might have been a good day to wear a belt though.)

There was a fairly deep ditch by the road so I was able to get below the grass and shoot up at the sunset, a rare pleasure. I loved the tiny flowers backed by the out of focus trees and the golden sunset. I know I’ve used the sunset as a background before but I had to do it one more time. πŸ™‚ The funniest part of this picture is the fact I nearly fell down getting in position. The unfamiliar weight of the 70-200 in my back pocket made me rock backwards and nearly fall before adjusting to steady myself.

I hope you’ve enjoyed todays pictures. I’m hoping to get out of town soon so I can freshen up the pictures with an interesting location. Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by ShootAbout. Social links in the top right. Follow me on Facebook for updates about the blog or on Twitter for a glimpse at my personal life. God bless, cheers!

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47 responses

13 02 2012
barbaraelka

Midas touch?…lovely

14 02 2012
96arley

I certainly hope not, I’m pretty sure if all my pictures turned yellow, I’d have to buy a new camera πŸ™‚ (or maybe just reset my color balance)

14 02 2012
cavepainter

Seeing the gold sky through the branches of the dark trees is kind of like a stained glass window. If you look close at the second photo some sections between the major branches are like islands of interlocked gold, with the large branches as dark rivers between them. πŸ™‚

14 02 2012
96arley

Excellent observation and nicely tied in with the rivers concept. Thanks for sharing!

14 02 2012
ladyrara67

You got some really Beautiful Shots;Thanks for Sharing them!

14 02 2012
Sonali Dalal

I really enjoyed these pictures πŸ™‚

14 02 2012
takingsnaps

Beutiful shots, love the last one.

14 02 2012
VeronicaThePajamaThief

Beautiful photos! I love sunsets… so many post exposure possibilities!

Thank you for sharing.

14 02 2012
Reggie

Extraordinary images – I was immediately struck by how golden your landscape looks, and realised you must have played with your white-balance. πŸ™‚

14 02 2012
davidoakesimages

Nice images and nice story….may even head off to see the movie.

14 02 2012
96arley

Haha, ShootAbout, your one stop source for photography and movie reviews πŸ™‚

14 02 2012
mjspringett

you gave me a good chuckle this morning, your word picture of you and your pants cross the ditch, priceless:) thanks MJ

14 02 2012
96arley

Glad you got a laugh out of it, I certainly did!

14 02 2012
Kris Kennedy

I appreciate all that you share and learning from you…

14 02 2012
96arley

I’m glad you’re benefiting from it! Thanks for stopping by!

14 02 2012
Nelson

Great photos! Sunset photos can definitely be a real challenge, but you produced some great ones! And thanks for the information on using a macro to pull in a different part of the scene. It’s not all about the zoom! Thanks for sharing!

14 02 2012
96arley

You’re welcome, glad you got something out of it!

14 02 2012
modernzenphotos

I very much liked your post. Yes, using a macro lens definitely puts a different perspective on things. I’ve been using the 100mm 2.8 for portraits as well as macro photography and it takes some getting used to. Thanks for sharing your excellent images.

14 02 2012
96arley

That’s a great lens, it’s on my wishlist right now πŸ™‚

14 02 2012
Steve Barnes

Nice photos and a nice story too! πŸ™‚

14 02 2012
96arley

Thanks Steve, glad you enjoyed!

14 02 2012
misty maples farm

Great shots…fat pants and all. πŸ™‚

14 02 2012
96arley

πŸ™‚ haha! Thanks!

14 02 2012
Cara Olsen

“One of the biggest problems with having a great sunset like this is it makes us want to capture exactly what we see. This has always frustrated me. The biggest internal battles I have always faced as a photographer is my desire to capture what I see versus the desire to create art.”

*Sigh*

You know when someone explains your heart in a new and fresh way, and it’s so spot on that all you can do is sit back, nod, and on an exhale say, “Yes. That is it.” Your words were that for me. Our crafts are neighborhoods apart, but the way in which we go about making it real, doing everything in our power not to produce something perpetrated, something contrived, it is so strikingly the same. In your case, taking what you see with your eyes and capturing it, and in mine, visualizing a lucid moment and using words to paint a picture. Nothing frustrates me more than when I fail to bring to life what is lively.

These pictures are gorgeous, by the way. I’ll say it again: you are very gifted.

Blessings,
Cara

14 02 2012
96arley

You’ve made my day. It’s so encouraging to share a post like this, something that makes you a bit nervous you may step on someone’s toes, and get a response from someone who can so clearly affirm the way you feel. Many thanks for your words of affirmation and good luck in your own work!

14 02 2012
Mary Jane E Clark

I absolutely love your blog and your photos! Thank you for sharing.

Mary Jane

14 02 2012
96arley

Your most welcome and thank you again for your support and encouragement!

14 02 2012
Tuxedo Sophisticated Cat

Stumbled upon your blog. Love your photos.
Maralee
throughmylens365.wordpress.com

14 02 2012
96arley

Thanks for stopping by, glad you liked what you saw!

14 02 2012
Andra Watkins

Some of the best shots come in the worst locations. I love the ditch one. It is happy.

14 02 2012
96arley

Thanks Andra, I’ve also found that some of the worst shots come in the best locations. I’ve been so overwhelmed by an amazing location I’ve turned into a tourist and had to kick myself in the seat of the pants so I’d start thinking about composition and creativity again πŸ™‚

14 02 2012
The Blissful Adventurer

I have lens envy for sure

14 02 2012
96arley

Haha, it’s a great setup

14 02 2012
Mary Lou Rutledge

Remembering that you’re the expert here, I would’ve wanted to lighten up the grass in the last photo and I think that is one of my many problems. Am I wrong?
I also would carry a purse! Ha.

14 02 2012
96arley

Mary Lou, please try to forget I am this so called “expert.” Skill is irrelevant if you make goofy dark images. But… I have a thing for goofy dark images. It’s even worse for you poor viewers on PC’s since my Mac makes everything much brighter and a bit more vivid. When I’m working for clients, I have to calibrate my monitor and compensate to their taste but when I’m working for me, I love darker shades. Now to the more important question of right or wrong and there is simply no such thing. I’ve said before I’ll shoot a scene with a couple different settings, I then pick my favorite (not the right or wrong one, just the one I like) What I like may not be exactly what you like and vica versa. I would love to see your interpretation of similar scene if you ever have the opportunity to recreate it. I might even make a second trip there to play around with a few more settings myself. And on to your suggesting, I think I better stick with camera bags and fat man pants. I’m already a photographer in a small southern town. If I start carrying a purse they might kick me out! =D Thanks for not holding back, always good to hear from someone who might have done something different!

14 02 2012
Danlrene Β©2011

love the pics.

14 02 2012
96arley

Thanks, me too! =D

15 02 2012
narhvalur

Very nice piccies and dramatic as well… Ann

15 02 2012
96arley

Thanks, dramatic? My pictures or writing? haha

15 02 2012
ktlee

Love that last photo! Really interesting.

15 02 2012
96arley

Thanks, glad you liked it!

16 02 2012
Karmen

You are SO right about our expectation of taking a shot that captures everything we are “seeing.” We have to remember that we are “seeing” much, much more than the camera, our other senses are engaged as well as emotions. The camera is an ‘eye’ only, which is why we’re often disappointed when we see the images. Better to focus on something and file in memory the smells, sounds, sensations of air movement and peace or excitement.

16 02 2012
96arley

πŸ™‚ That’s why I take pictures with perspectives we don’t usually see. They can add something fresh to a subject that can create a unique experience for the person viewing the picture πŸ™‚

18 02 2012
stephanielane2012

As always, love your photos and commentary that goes with. Thank you for sharing, your words hit home.

18 02 2012
96arley

Thanks Stephanie, glad you enjoyed it all

29 02 2012
namitalad

i guess i can get some tips from you…
following you now πŸ˜‰

29 02 2012
96arley

πŸ™‚ check out the training tab for tons of photography tips

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