IN THE FIELD: Sunset Views


Finding good vantage points for sunrise and sunset photos in the valley near where we live is not that difficult. Most of the small country roads criss-crossing the farms and small towns in the area eventually make their way to the rims of the valley. From these vantage points, the views can extend for miles, so it’s just a matter of waiting for the right light. And for the relentless wind to end. A good sturdy tripod is a necessity.

This time of the year, we’ve been experiencing sustained winds of 10-20+ mph and gusts to about 30mph. March came in like a lion and never left. For several nights I have witnessed magnificent skies. But with the high winds, and the real-feel temperatures in the teens, it just wasn’t practical for photographing sunsets.

Finally one night the conditions eased up a bit as the sun neared the horizon. I mounted the camera on my tripod and got a few shots of this sunset. And I didn’t even have to tie sandbags, heavy boulders, or a ship’s anchor onto the tripod to keep it from blowing away.

This shot was underexposed 1 full stop from the camera’s recommended setting in order to intensify the color a bit.



ISO 200

WB Cloudy

  1. April 7, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Very nice indeed!

    • April 9, 2013 at 9:45 am

      I took some horizontal shots of this one…it was hard to decide which to show for this post. I’m sure there will be plenty more…don’t want to over-do things though LOL.

  2. April 7, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Beautiful! I’m tired of the wind and cold too. This sunset has hints of warmth, which I enjoy!

    • April 9, 2013 at 10:49 am

      It sure was pretty that night and guess what! There was only a slight breeze yesterday and with the warm sun, it felt like summertime. Ahhhh relief from the gale force winds.

  3. April 8, 2013 at 3:16 am

    amazing sky view you captured dear David, fascinated me. Thank you, have a nice weekend, love, nia

    • April 9, 2013 at 9:50 am

      It sure was pretty amazing Nia…there are great sunsets almost every night!

  4. April 8, 2013 at 4:09 am

    Wow, that is really dramatic and intense! Superb capture of the subtle shades of blue-grey as well as the fiery orange. That is one angry looking sunset! I hope you are getting milder weather now – our spring seems to have finally arrived, and the snow is melting. We’ve had the coldest east winds I can ever remember.

    • April 9, 2013 at 10:00 am

      The skies were quite turbulent that night…par for the course LOL. As the sunset faded and it was closer to dusk, the sky turned a beautiful azure blue. I’ll have to post one of those shots. Spring is here now and the temps have been summer like the last few days. A cold front is coming so it will be more seasonal. Warmth is good but it’s too early for the heat of the summer. It sure has been bitter and windy this year so a long spring reprieve sure is a welcome thing!

  5. April 8, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Beautiful sunset, David! Definitely good call on underexposing the shot, the color of the sunset is brilliant.

    • April 9, 2013 at 10:14 am

      Thanks Gracie, Underexposing does saturate the colors quite nicely but tends to darken the foreground. Unless you have a split ND filter. The foreground in this shot was the roof of an elementary school so I just composed the shot without including it.

  6. April 8, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    That’s lovely. I’m pleased the high winds have eased up a bit for you.

    • April 9, 2013 at 10:24 am

      We sure have been blessed with some good ones!!! The darn wind can get pretty annoying though. I was chatting with a fellow who lives near where I took this shot…he said he goes through two flags a year!!!

  7. April 9, 2013 at 1:03 am

    i often under-expose for more colour and probably more realistic but thought I was doing something ‘wrong” for a long time.Like the verticle and the colour.

    • April 9, 2013 at 10:31 am

      You’re doing things as they should be…underexposing work the same way with film. The trade-off is a darker foreground. A split or graduated ND filter will help properly expose the foreground if you want to include it in the composition. I like the look of the vertical shot as well. Although I did take some horizontals that came out quite nicely.

  8. April 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Great sunset photo. We have beautiful sunsets when we are at the lake in Maine. I have never gotten a photo that captures what I am seeing.

    • April 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks Karen, I think I got lucky with this one LOL. The wind aloft was still pretty strong because these clouds were really moving quickly. It was turbulent! Shortly after taking this shot, the skies darkened as if it was nighttime! I don’t think the sun was below the horizon it happened that quickly. Normally I stick around for about 20 minutes after sundown to catch the light…but this time it didn’t work out that way.

  9. April 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Great capture, David!

    • April 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks John, we have been getting some great ones…it’s the darn wind! Maybe now that’s it’s springtime we’ll just have breezes. That would be a change for the better!

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