Some of my best pictures are taken when I have little time to plan and only time to react. I am not saying this is one of my best pictures but it was taken in a rush. I arrived on Assateague Island with only minutes to spare before sunset so I “carefully drove the speed limit” till I found the spot I was looking for, the boat launch on the bay side. Though honestly, there were so many horses by the road that I found it hard to even get up to the speed limit.
What at first looked like it might be a burner of a good sunset quickly fizzled out. I thought the clouds in the eastern sky would light up, and they did, but only for a few moments. After abandoning the car and going by foot down the road, I found the angle I wanted. I was able to keep the foreground trees apart for the most part and get enough of the sky to add some interest.
Using my trusty Nikon D800 and Tamron 15-30mm lens at 30mm I was able to get this shot. I knew because of the lack of color it would end up as a black and white image. By using the high contrast red filter in Photoshop, the light on the clouds really popped. It has been pointed out to me that there is a bit of a dead spot down the bottom in the grasses. I was not able to pull the details back enough from the shadows. Perhaps if I had more than 2 minutes to get the image I would have realized this and done a double exposure but that was not to be. And I can only recover so much shadow details before it becomes all noise.
So what can you take from this? Well two things. First, use the monitor on the back of your camera to review your image. Block out all the rush and other distractions and really look at what you are getting. Make sure you have what you want and not just assume it can be fixed in post. Second, you will not always succeed. Even when you have beauty before you, sometimes you will just blow it. As you progress and get better, you blow it in smaller ways (usually!) but forgive yourself. Think about what you can do differently next time but do not get down on yourself. Getting down on yourself is a sure way to squish your artistic creativity.