You know… sometimes ya’ just get lucky. That’s totally what I was thinking after my sunset shoot a while back. See, a few weeks ago my buddy Brian Matiash was visiting from Portland, OR and I wanted to take him out shooting for sunset. He’s a good buddy of mine and we always have a great time shooting. But a few hours before, the sky wasn’t looking so good (kinda just blah), and we started to talk ourselves in to just heading to grab a beer instead. It was a long day, and, well… a beer, some food, and just relaxing sounded pretty good. But as it got closer to us leaving the office, the sky was looking better. So I said to Brian, “Hey, it’s Florida. You just never know how quickly some weather can roll in and make for some awesome sunsets”. So we decided to head out to a location that I’d only been to once before on Honeymoon Island in Dunedin, FL.
It turned out to be a REALLY good decision. First off, I’d only been to this spot once and I thought the wooden pilings were really going to be the star of the photo here. But I’d never been to it in low tide so I never even knew that all of these rocks existed. And since it was low tide, you could see the rocks as well as the still pools of water that were trapped in them. And almost as soon as we got to the parking lot it was starting to look good. The clouds were forming and there were even some thunderstorms around which can really make for some dramatic photos. Now, I’ve shot around here enough to know that the sun can go behind a bank of clouds and totally kill the almost-awesome-but-not-really sunset so I wasn’t totally sold that we’d get a good shot. But that’s landscape photography right? It’s more about luck and putting yourself in the right spot enough times to eventually walk away with a good photo.
Well, as sunset got closer, the clouds were just amazing. They changed every 60 seconds. There were dark clouds, there were colorful clouds, there were God beams shining through, etc… At one point, there was even this reddish/orange color/tint on everything. I even said to Brian, “Dude this is crazy! See how red it just got?”, forgetting that Brian is actually color blind (ooops) 🙂 Anyway, the photo below is one of my favorites from the evening. Usually, when shooting beaches, I’m a twilight person – meaning I typically don’t care for many beach photos with the sun up. I’m usually shooting my favorites when the sun is below the horizon. But this one stood out to me. The sunstar, the rocks, the silky waves from the longer exposure.
[tw-divider](click to see larger)[/tw-divider]
Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
Lens: Canon 16-35mm
Shutter Speed: 2.5 sec
Filter: Tiffen 2-stop ND
Tripod: Really Right Stuff TVC-33 w/ BH-55 Ballhead
Location (for any of you FL residents or visitors): Honeymoon Island: Dunedin, FL (map: http://mattyk.me/1nP6L6r)
Anyway, as I said in the beginning of the post – Sometimes ya’ just get lucky. That evening was one of those evenings. The right tide, with the run weather, clouds, etc… made for one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve photographed in a long time. And I still even got to go have my beer and food with Brian after 🙂 Have a good one!
I really like this image. Can you discuss how you processed it? Perhaps show “before” and “after” images, explain your thought process during editing, and give the final settings in Lightroom’s Develop module? That would be extremely helpful, especially the part about how you’re thinking as you apply the edits.
beautiful photo. and thanks for the reminder that I need to get out to honeymoon island again! i live so close but always forget.
Hi Matt- Love your info and images. I’m a North Floridian and wanted to know where in Honeymoon Island are these pilings and rocks? Is it more on the southern side toward the causeway or is it at the end of the road? I’m always on the lookout for new places. Thanks so much!
Hey Brett – I included a link to the map under Photo Details 🙂
I love it that is one I would love to paint. By the way I didn’t look u up yet. R u from Ohio? I am originally from Ohio and Parma west side.
I wanted a picture of The wedding Island. So I googled and your name is same as a old friend.of mine. Beautiful !
This is what I love to paint more than daytime also. Brilliant Colors love your photo keep on doing it . Sandra (hope to hear from U)
Hi. Thanks and glad you like it. I never lived in Ohio so it must be a different Kloskowski 🙂
How do U create those beautiful sunstars?
I have tried many times, but I never get them how I like them (like the one in this photo).
With my d7100 + 18-35 i set my aperture to f/16 and expose for the highlights, But somehow my photo’s end up with a light “circle” but not a star.
I have included one of my photo’s where I tried it. According to my histogram the highlight are not blowout / clipping.
Hey Richard. Looks like you used a good f-stop. It could be that the sun was just too bright in that break in the clouds to get a good sunstar. You get the best ones when the sun is just peaking over the horizon or through a cloud or on the edge of something. Also, I usually underexpose the photo and you’ll see a better sunstar appear. I take one underexposed and one overexposed and merge the two of them together in Photoshop.
Really dig it. Love the Orange ==> Yellow ==> Blue color shift across the image.
He.He…that’s where I busted my lens! LOL So you’re only going shooting locally when guests come?