Monsoon sunset in Casa Grande, AZ

Uploaded 9 Aug 2010 — 9 favorites
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© Mike Olbinski
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Favorites 8
Comments 8
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

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.

8 responses

  • Jonathan Bratter

    Jonathan Bratter gave props (9 Aug 2010):

    Striking. Always love your storm shots.

  • Mike Olbinski

    Mike Olbinski said (9 Aug 2010):

    Thanks so much!

  • Phil Sykes

    Phil Sykes   said (9 Aug 2010):

    Sweet shot.

  • JOE FAILK

    JOE FAILK gave props (9 Aug 2010):

    Thanks for the info on sunsets!!

  • Dennis Watts

    Dennis Watts gave props (9 Aug 2010):

    great image!

  • abel

    abel gave props (9 Aug 2010):

    Great shot.

  • Kathleen Mercado

    Kathleen Mercado (Deleted) said (12 Aug 2010):

    Gorgeous, Mo.

  • Trista Marie

    Trista Marie (Deleted) gave props (19 Aug 2010):

    i agree with you completely, a darker foreground silhouette definately makes a colorful background POP! allows the eyes to travel through the contrast

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