Friday, September 20, 2013

Token Sunset

Last evening on the North Shore. This is my fifth trip to Oahu in the last 18 months. Yeah, rough, I know. But you know what? Until this trip, I bet you I didn't take 48 hours off to relax, total, four trips combined. This time, had a scant three extra days, which felt like hitting the lottery. All that, and you think I'd have been fired up. Right? So much to see, so many photographs to chase. For a guy who likes nothing more than to go, it was GO TIME.

But this evening the sun was getting low and I just wasn't feeling it. Had a great day. Up at 5, watched the full moon set over Waimea bay, enjoyed sunrise on the beach (latte in hand, natch, and lemme tell you they make some bad-ass coffee here at the coffee shop in the Foodland in Pupukea), swam in the ocean, biked most of the North Shore, visited the Thursday market. By 5pm I was just ready to be done, you know? But Suzanne, God bless her, pointed out (as only someone that knows you, better than you do, can do) that we weren't finished. Deep inside I knew she was right. Hell, my conscience was screaming. There are certain things, no matter how you feel, certain things you don't miss. When you're 2500 miles from home, no matter what brought you there, if there's a breeze in the palms, if the sun is setting into the ocean, well, you gotta show up. 

The late Galen Rowell put it more succinctly"You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn't waste either."

But by now you get the point. There are No Token Sunsets. 

So we went out. Got to the beach with, like, two minutes in hand. Fortunately I already knew the first, safe shot. See where it goes from there. 

Here's the shot you expect. Sun hits the horizon, all warm and fuzzy. Get it. But move on.
Sun's down. But you're not done. Frame up something simple. Warm up the white balance, crush the blacks and keep shooting. (Note: you don't need more dynamic range, you need less. But we'll get to that another day.)
Always dig a little deeper. You can decide later if you regret it or not. I haven't decided yet. That's ok. Just push. (That's your cue, btw, to fire off in the comments and let me know your favorite.) 

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