Clouds begin to fill the sky just after sunset above the driveway at our house in Tennessee.
The other day, Laura said, “Hey, check out the sunset!” Which usually means that there is a pretty good photo opportunity out there. It is great to have a wife who points out things that she thinks would make for a good photo, since she knows that is what I like. If you don’t already have a wife like that, you can’t have mine, because she is already taken.
Anyway, I ran in the house to get my camera and then ran back outside to see what I could get. And yes, the sunset was pretty cool with some nice colors in the clouds. But this photo isn’t of that. The longer I was out there, the more interesting the view became. The clouds were looking more and more interesting. And the sky was taking on just the right color of blue. So that’s why they call that time right after sunset the Blue Hour for photography!
I kept moving around the yard and snapping photos. I had originally had a different lens on the camera to get a closer view of the sunset clouds, which were the clouds near the horizon at the right, behind the light post. But I decided I liked the wide view better, so I switched to the fisheye lens to get more in the frame. And then the front yard light came on, casting a yellow glow here and there to go with the blue shades. After that, I finally realized that the driveway leading your eye down to the great sky would make a good composition element, so I repositioned myself, and this is what I got.
So much cool stuff here. If you look closely, the moon is above the sweetgum tree in the center of the photo. And the remaining sun rays coming up behind the light post are pretty cool, too. And all those little dot-like clouds up in the sky really add a nice texture, too. Isn’t God’s creation cool?
Interestingly, the end photo was nothing like what I started out to take. I went out there with one photo in mind, but I ended up with something completely different, but also much better than what I had planned on. Sometimes we get so focused on the one thing that we think we are trying to do that we forget to look at other things, other options, different viewpoints. And when we do that, we just might miss something even better that God has put there for us. Sometimes you just have to let go of what you were originally wanting and look to see what else is there.
Because sometimes God has things in store for us that are much better than what we could have ever imagined.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. - Jeremiah 29:11-13
About the photo:
I actually already told quite a bit about the photo in the above paragraphs, but you probably noticed that already. But I will point out here that when you use a fisheye lens to shoot landscapes, you don’t always get the distortion that comes when you are shooting something up close. Although if you look hard enough, you can still find some distortion here and there, even if it isn’t as pronounced as in some of the other photos.
Also, the light fixture on top of the post was extremely blown out, so I created a darker “exposure” using the raw file and masked in the light fixture from it, just to make it look a little more normal.
Here is the before-and-after version of this photo:
As you can see, I was able to pull quite a bit of detail out of the darker foreground areas thanks to the original Raw file.
Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: July 7, 2016
Location: Our house, Williston, Tennessee