Sunset from a Firetower

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    Blessings Captured

    We have a fire lookout tower a couple miles from our house. It was fun to go there for the sunset even though it wasn’t a colorful sunset. How could I have composed these pictures better? Would you edit them differently?

    What could I do better next time? I want to go again when we have we have some richer fall colors and maybe a colorful sunset/sunrise.

    Settings in file names.

    Thanks for any tips!

    Frazer Family

    This may be just personal opinion, but I think that the land areas of the second shot need more contrast. They’re looking a little hazy and hard-to-see. Now, that can give a pleasing effect, but especially in the second shot, it feels like there’s material there that the viewer is supposed to be able to see clearly.

    When you shot the third shot, were you using a tripod? Personally, I would have raised your ISO to at least 400 to give you a bit more wiggle-room with your speed. 1/80th is hard to hold still at 135 mm zoom, unless your lens has a good stabilizer.

    Hope this helps a bit,

    Blessings Captured

    Yes, I see how they could use some more contrast. Thanks for that input.

    I was resting the camera on the platform which wasn’t as steady as tripod. I should have paid more attention to my shutter speed.

    Blessings Captured

    Does this picture look better with the sky cropped out?

    James Staddon

    My first thought was, “Oh, what a gorgeous view!”

    That’s a good thing. A viewer’s initial impression says a lot about a photo.

    Great choice to crop out most of the sky. Sometimes completely cropping out the sky is good, when there’s nothing in it, but I personally do like seeing some of it. 3rd and 4th shots don’t feel look sharp. 1st one is my favorite because there’s more than just rolling hills to look at. That old falling down barn and the cows in the pasture really make great “foreground” interest. Perhaps zooming in a bit to emphasize just one or the other could make some interesting shots. Including both is great though. Do go back when there’s a bit more color. Golden hour is still going to help keep the fall colors looking golden; with such distance, the haze is going to make even vibrant trees look “bluish blah” in the distance.

    Joshua Ong

    The fire tower is certainly an excellent vantage point for scenic pictures. How tall is it? I’d imagine a couple of storeys as the surrounding bushland forests appear small.

    The golden hour light does add more colour to the green in the pictures. But I’m pretty sure the place will look better in autumn and probably even in winter (if you happen to get snow). If I were you, I would probably include the sun as it sets on the horizon.

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