PhotoZAP 30: Tequila Sunset

“What's not to love about a perfectly executed silhouette shot against a gorgeous sky?” —Jack Howard


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© Steve Brown, Mesa, AZ. Gear: Nikon D70, Nikkor 80-200mm lens at 80mm. Exposure: 1/160 sec at f/2.8, ISO 200, aperture priority. Handheld.

Photographer’s statement: This photo was result of an impromptu drive through the desert after a thunderstorm, in Usery Mountain Park. The camera was an afterthought that happened to be in the trunk. I really like the vibrant colors and composition of the photo and would be very interested in an objective critique with goal of becoming a better photographer; it's great to hear how others may think it's a good photo but there's always room for improvement

Our critics say...   

Mason Resnick:
This photo is proof that you should always have your camera with you, because you never know. Sunsets can be tricky, but the photographer handled the exposure well. I might have placed the cactus a little bit away from the edge—remember the rule of thirds—and shot it from a lower angle so more of it would break the horizon, but otherwise, I like this one. I also agree with the theatrical wide aspect ratio crop.

Jack Howard: What's not to love about a perfectly executed silhouette shot against a gorgeous sky? I too like the HD aspect ratio and have to agree with possibly trying for a lower angle, but I’m not sure if that's possible. Would love to see what the saturation looks like in a bracketed set of captured images–not necessarily for HDRI, but for finding perhaps a slightly different balance in sky color and detail. But as it stands, this is a winner.

Monica Cipnic: A dramatic sunset in the desert is always a compelling subject and the photographer captured it well. My suggestions are in agreement with Mason and Jack: moving your position so that the cactus isn't so close to the right edge, if you could try a lower angle, and “work the scene,” as we often say.

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