Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Aagh! Another sunset!

click photo to enlarge
If there is a subject that few photographers, amateur or professional, can resist pointing their camera at, it's a sunset. Even photographers of many years standing, whose archives runneth over with sunsets, can't stop themselves taking just one more!

But photographers are only falling for the same things that seduced painters for centuries, and attracted cinematographers and film directors in more recent times. Anyone involved with graphic arts is interested in colour, particularly tints, and sunsets provide plenty of those in reds, oranges, yellows, purples even. Such people also love contrast, and sunsets often incorporate shadows, silhouettes and reflections, all providing the striking shapes that make an image sing. And finally, the suggestion of mood is central to many artistic endeavours, and here too, a sunset does that wonderfully well. You want splendour and magnificence - use a sunset! A sense of closure? The sunset will give it better than just about any other device. What's more, it will even do it in black and white. So, I make only a slight apology for posting my third (or is it fourth) sunset out of about two hundred and fify images. However, I can't promise it will be the last!

This sunset shows Blackpool's North Pier silhouetted against the light as the sun heads down into the Irish Sea. I placed the twin pavilions in the centre of the shot and balanced the off-centre sun with some attractive pools that the ebbing tide had left on the beach to the right. The image was taken with a wide zoom lens at 22mm (35mm equivalent), the camera set to Aperture Priority (f6.3 at 1/1600 sec), with the ISO at 100, and -1.0EV.
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen