View Full Version : Scouting for something new

Wicked Dark
02-03-2010, 12:23 PM
Sunsets are a joy and a bane. They're beautiful, but done to death. Still, there's something magnetic about that glorious light that attracts us and makes try again and again to convey it in photos. I'm as guilty as the rest.

So lately I've been on the prowl for a new location. Something different and nearby so I can get there quick if the sky and light look to be promising. I've shot in this orchard before and thought of it again yesterday...I'm actually going to do a seasonal study of it, but sunsets could be cool.


OK...so this is a little lack-luster, but if we get one like this from late last month, it will be something else.


Does anyone else scout locations ahead of time and do test shots?? I haven't done it before, but I'm beginning to see the advantage. Now I know how long it takes me to get there and even the best locations to park and set up. Hopefully this saves me time and grief in future.

Mad Aussie
02-03-2010, 03:12 PM
For me it depends on the sunset ... and what you include or exclude from the shot ... in other words your composition.

That first one works because of all the branches ... loads of foreground interest to beef up an ordinary sunset. In this case the branches are the subject and the sunset is singing backup.

But the 2nd ... well the sunset is definitely the lead singer there! The background trees are just stage props at best. The almost perfect gradient from dark red to bright yellow with it's retention of detail is brilliant.
Simplistic but still plenty of interest if you look ... but also see.

02-03-2010, 05:41 PM
Sorry, M.A. but I have to disagree with it being simplistic. It is not. It is clean, uncluttered, natural and essentially simple which makes it appealing. To me simplistic is an insult meaning 'characterized by a forced, unwarranted simplicity or the tendency to oversimplify an issue or a problem by ignoring complexities or complications.' Which may be true of my understanding of commerce and politics and but not true of this photo. :)

Mad Aussie
02-04-2010, 01:00 AM
JAS you weren't supposed to take words I said and then look up the dictionary :headslap:

Simplistic is my opinion on this one and I stand by it. The photo has very few elements and large areas of a single element so, for me, this is simplistic when compared to the photo above with all the branches or one of your city shots for instance.

Oh ... and simplistic from me in no way shape or form suggests an insult or lack of quality in any way either. In fact it's the opposite in this case.

I'm going to watch your photos from now and look for ways to tell you I think they are simplistic :evil2: :laughing:

Wicked Dark
02-04-2010, 07:30 AM
hey now...no insult taken although I agree with JAS that the official definition implies that a simple approach was taken to deliberately or willfully ignore bothersome details which sticklers think should be included, which in a sense the 2nd photo does. I was out on a frozen lake and deliberately moved the camera up and zoomed in to eliminate some foreground that I had included in other shots; thus -


Sorry if that's too big. I'll resize if you want.

At any rate, yes the first photo includes so many branches because the sky was blah. If we get a sunset like the one above, I've got a lone tree to accentuate without the other tree's branches.

02-04-2010, 10:25 AM
We need the English to Aussie translator again :laugh:

Mad Aussie
02-04-2010, 01:23 PM
I probably should have said 'minimalist' :shrug:

I love that last shot as well. The snow in the foreground just seems to add something.

These winter scenes just blow me away. I work in a shed that gets to 40C or so days. I took a digital thermometer in the other day actually ... 39.7C ... they are going to add extractor fans apparently. We'll see.

Wicked Dark
02-04-2010, 01:33 PM
Thanks for the compliments. I'll post some other winter photos in another thread. I've been out a lot this season, trying to capture different aspects of winter here in New England. To me, these sunsets capture how warm it can seem (it was in the mid 30s F when I shot it, so it was kinda warm) and how harsh and cold.