Sky on Fire

We had some family in town this past week so I took my brother-in-law Matt (also a photographer) to Fort De Soto to do some exploring. We made our way out to the beach in time for sunset and I am glad we did.

We were running around trying to make images as the sun went over the horizon. Little did we know the best shots would come well after the sun had disappeared.

While walking out the beach we passed a few other photographers and one said something like "20 more minutes and we're out of business" referring to the fact that the sun would be setting in 20 minutes. But I have found that the hour after sunset can be just as good, if not better, for photographs.
I was traveling pretty bare-bones and only had one body with a 17-50mm lens. I wish I had my 12-24mm wide angle because this is where that lens shines.

During the walk back to the car, the sand dunes provided a nice border to the image. Unfortunately, the sea oats had already dropped their "oats" so they just looked like bare stalks.

As we got closer to the car, some mangroves also provided a nice foreground element to the image. It was getting pretty dark here, so I was trying to hold the camera as steady as possible shooting at 1/10 second.

There are several clumps of palm trees along North Beach that I have used in sunset shots before, but I usually walk right up to them so they are the main element of the photo. Here, we just pulled the car off the road and rolled down the window. We kept inching forward until the trees were not blocking any of the clouds. Shooting from a car allows me to brace the camera on the door frame which was very important since this shot required a 1/4 or 1/2 second shutter speed. This shot was taken approx. 1 hour after the sun had officially set!

I've been getting lots of requests for more shots of baby Vanessa. Hopefully I'll have some more posted soon!

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