I went old school yesterday—making single bracket handheld exposures along Dock Road just around sunset. Gasp! I took a step back from the usual Tripod Only, Brackets Only, Sunset Only wide angle workflow to which I fall prey. Creature of habit and all. But sometimes you have got to break away.
Yesterday afternoon offered the chance. Sunset was shaping up to be so-so at best. So tasked with figuring out how best to salvage to shoot, I took a gander behind me to the northeast exposure and noted some detailed cloud shapes behind me. Photogenic clouds, even. Thinking these may color up when the sun slipped down, I disconnected camera body from tripod and walked across the street. And from there, directly opposite to my initial position, it went. A few purposeful exposures working in the invasive—albeit visually pleasing in the right light—phragmites as a foreground element. The shutter was lazy enough at 1/30 a second to produce a hint of movement in the pesky plants. I’ve got another shot from last night that I will post next that maximizes the movement and lines of the much maligned phragmites.
The lesson? Always keep your head on a swivel. No need to jump right into the act of shooting. Take the time to scan your environment, observing the landscape from different angles. Break the mode and let go of the status quo.