Looks like a huge storm brewing with these clouds darkening the sky and seeming to swirl into the sunset on the horizon. As it turned out, the sky cleared up and there was no rain on this evening at the summit of Brasstown Bald, the highest point in the State of Georgia.
Working the scene
In this image, I moved away from the western-most point of the observation deck where you could get the best views of the Blue Ridge mountains, and focused on the textures of the wooden deck and the patterns in the sky. It was very interesting to me to see the colors and patterns displayed against this magnificent vista.
My favorite image from this shoot was a mountain skyline with the sun just above the horizon, casting sunbeams across the landscape. While that might have been “the shot” I always want to work the scene for other angles and perspectives.
It amazes me when people go out to shoot the sunset and what they capture is one orange ball against a blank sky. The colors are pretty but the composition is bland and everyone has seen the sun set. It happens every day. So, being patient, experiment with different views, and include foreground and background objects that are interesting, that can really make a shot special.
The photographer’s least favorite comment: Wow, you have a great camera
The equipment you use can certainly make a difference in capturing the image. In this case, I am using a Nikon D7100 and a wide-angle Tamron 10-24mm lens mounted on a Vanguard tripod. Still, it’s more about seeing the image you want to capture than about the equipment. It’s just like the golfer who buys new clubs to make their game better. If you don’t have the basics down and focus on the right stuff, no amount of expensive gear will make you better. Full-sized cameras do not guarantee you a good picture and that stuff is heavy to lug around!
You can get equally nice shots with much smaller camera equipment (though, I still recommend that you get a good stable tripod for night shots). Anything from your cell phone, a decent point-and-shoot, to a mirrorless (often called micro 4/3) camera to special lightweight cameras like the Light L16 compact camera that my friends at Light.co offer can get you good images if you learn how to use them properly and learn how to work a scene for the best views. So, don’t quit after the first shot and don’t show me 500 pictures of a red dot on an orange background. Find something interesting and work it!
Brasstown Bald Mountain
Towns and Union Counties, Georgia, USA
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
10mm at f/3.5 – 1/8 sec – ISO 400
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