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I've learned a bit about good sunset pictures in the last year. Normally, a nice silhouette of a sunset doesn't work unless you have some kind of iconic or amazing structure on the horizon. A beautiful sunset photograph usually has some sort of interesting foreground element to go with it...be it a lake, pond, rocks, building, whatever.
When I am out stormchasing, I never know where I'm are going to be. I just end up where the storms and clouds are. So when you start seeing a sunset forming like the one above and you're driving down the highway at 85mph, you have precious little time to find a spot that offers up some decent composition to go with the brilliance happening on the horizon. Sometimes the most beautiful moment of a sunset lasts for less than a minute, so the setup needs to happen NOW.
All that building up to say that I don't think the foreground elements in this photo are anything to write home about, but it's amazing what you CAN find when you are frantically searching for a spot when the sun is about to disappear. Especially if you've never been around this area before. You race down a road, see a field, look for something, ANYTHING interesting and then bolt out there, get the tripod up, make sure your settings are good and snap away.
I do love the tree here and some of the elements of decay around...a discarded pipe close to the horizon, a barbed wire stake just standing there by itself for no reason...the deadness of the desert.
Technical jargon: Six brackets, Photomatix, CS5 and some noise reduction, etc.
Also by Mike Olbinski
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