The photograph above was taken a couple of weeks at sunset. I had just pulled off the road into a scenic overlook near Carnahan Creek where I was out with one of my photography classes. As everyone was getting out of the vehicle, we noticed the sun going down behind a hill. With the sun setting right beside the tree, it made for some interesting compositions. I made this photograph with a telephoto lens (512mm full frame equivalent) to isolate just the sun and the tree. At the time this photograph was made we had been having a string of completely clear skies in the evening. For this photograph clouds in the sky wouldn’t have mattered, but as it turns out the clouds were spectacular this night.
Because the clouds were so beautiful, after making several shots of just the tree and the sun, I switched from my telephoto lens to a wide angle lens (38mm full frame equivalent) for this second photograph. This wider view captures the tree and the sun (very small, center of the horizon) but also shows the clouds and the wonderful colors they were reflecting.
Often times I get ‘tunnel vision’ when I’m out taking photographs and will get stuck using only one lens/focal length and forget about the other opportunities around me. This was a good lesson for me to remember to consider completely different compositions than what I have been focused on, especially using telephoto lenses in landscape type shots (I tend to only grab my telephoto when I see wildlife). Any lesson that helps broaden what I “see” when I’m out making photographs is a good one. I know I’m going to work more on finding the “picture in the picture” in the future, and I think my photography will be better for it.