The Walk into the Sunset

The Walk into the Sunset

It all began with me going to the shop. I took all my photography gear with me, something I don’t normally do but for some strange reason I believed I knew I was going to find something interesting along the way.

Only a few steps outside my house, I look up into the sky and see some really interesting clouds. This gave me a vision, an idea.  From just looking at the clouds I could tell that in about one or two hours that there would be a very interesting sunset approaching. To give you some context great sunsets are determined by a few things, those being clouds and atmosphere. The clouds allow the sun to reflect from creating interesting colours and the atmosphere Рthe things around us that allow the sun light to wrap around creating more interesting patterns in the sky.

Here is the photo I took of the clouds after stepping outside my house. Canon 7D, 16-35mm f/2.8 L II, 1/50 Sec, F/8, ISO 100, 16mm.

From that point onward I decided to “chase” down the sunset with the intentions of getting a good sunset photo. I carried on with my journey when I stumbled through this interesting pathway, the pathway had a massive wall on the right side covered in moss which looked great, I decided to whip out my camera and take a shot of it.

Here is the photo of the pathway. Canon 7D, 16-35mm f/2.8 L II, 1/60 Sec f/3.5, ISO 800, 16mm with two stops HDR Bracketing.

I loved how the photo turned out. The composition and the natural lines lead your eyes into the sky. I decided to go with HDR to make sure the sky was properly exposed and to get more details out of the mossy wall (bear in mind I did this handheld). You can see that the sunset was a bit to the right of the photo and that is where I was headed off to.

I carried on with my journey and it lead me to a tunnel which went underneath the train tracks. At this point I was heading south towards the Sunset. I walked along the train tracks through a narrow mud pathway with woods on my right hand side.

Here is a quick snapshot of the train tracks I was walking next to. Canon 7D, 16-35mm f/2.8 L II, 1/30 Sec, F/8, ISO 400, 16mm.

The trains were literally centre meters from me. I carried on walking up these mysterious woods which strangely lead me to this really posh neighbourhood. The cars and houses or should I say mansions were spectacular. I wish I had taken a photo of the best ones but sadly I did not.

I felt like this was walking forever, at this point I had been walking for about an hour or so. Eventually I found myself at a junction on a country road, the sunset was to the left of me but I decided to go right since I remembered where I was. I could hear the motorway not too far away from me, I decided that that would be a good viewpoint; I had shot at a nearby motorway bridge before. I then saw this small bridge opposite the bridge shot on before.

At last my quest had come to an end. I found a great spot to photograph the amazing sunset in front of me. The vibrant colours of the scene were spectacular with colours ranging from strong magentas to deep orange and rich blues. I set up my tripod and took a test shot, my results told me that one, I had to compose a HDR shot and combine three shots together in post. This was because I wanted to get detail both in the foreground and background. Another reason for doing HDR was due to the huge increase in exposure of the sky and the foreground.

Here is my first test shot I took. Canon 7D, 16-35mm F/2.8 L II, 1/13, F/9, ISO 100, 16mm.

After gathering some more information from the test shots, I realised that the photo was missing something. It needed motion and drama. To capture motion I decided to use a ND filter to allow for a longer exposure to create motion both in the clouds and light streaks from the cars.

From that point onward I knew I was onto something, great sky with a beautiful sunset, motion and dramatic clouds. I took my final shot consisting of three different exposures which I would later blend together in Photoshop. This was the result:

Here is the final result, with editing done in Lightroom and blending done in Photoshop. Canon 7D, 16-35mm F/2.8 L II, 5 Sec, F/8, ISO 100, 16mm with two stops HDR Bracketing. Click to view in full resolution.

Thank you for sticking with me and following my journey to capture this sunset photo.

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