CHANGE OF PLANS - 29 September 2014
Sunset on Cadillac Mountain - Acadia National Park, Maine
Link to full sized image: http://www.tom-hill.biz/Galleries/Scenics/Elsewhere-Japan-Plains-Maine/i-rgjPqrV/A
Most of the time when I'm really success at photography it's because I laid out a good plan. I probably scouted a location. I might've consulted various references like sunset times, the timing of tides, and where the stars would rise. I might even visit the site in broad daylight to get a feeling of the composition I'd try when the "magic" hour arrived. This day, the evening when this image was taken, I had a plan. But, that plan was totally thrown out the window.
My plan was to setup a night session near Eagle Lake which was next to Cadillac Mountain--the tallest in the park. The plan was carefully laid out with a survey and all the consulting of references just as I described. I hoped to get a cool background of the Milky Way with the lake in the foreground. It was going to be awesome except for one thing, the weather. You see, weather as in clouds does not do much for night photography. But, it does wonderfully well for sunset photography.
As I shot out of Bar Harbor out to Eagle Lake, I peered at the clouds thinking, "my plan isn't going to work." I still ran to where I planned to shoot to confirm the clouds would not reveal the Milky Way like I wanted. But, I knew these types of clouds would get very colorful. I just needed a place to shoot. Since sunset was 30 minutes away I needed something fast.
Well, I took advantage of a location I'd shot previously a few years earlier. (link to previous image: http://www.tom-hill.biz/Galleries/Scenics/Elsewhere-Japan-Plains-Maine/i-cPL4Rpp/A
It was a great sunset spot but I knew I wanted something different. In this case, I used a lot more capable equipment able to capture a lot more dynamic range and tone information to bring together a really excellent image of a really awesome sunset. This image is a couple image panorama taken at a couple of exposure settings to capture both the bright red sunset and the much darker grant foreground. You can see this with your own eye--unlike some of the star images I've posted. To overcome the camera's limits compared to what your eye can see, you need to do a couple of tricks. In this case it meant shooting for the brights, then the darks, then bringing all the images together on my computer.
I didn't add any vibrance or pump the color up to "11" for this image. There were plenty of colors without me having to help during post-processing. It really was a great opportunity.
Funny enough, I talked to a photographer the next day about how awesome the sunset was. We happened to be at the Otter Cliffs the morning after this image talking about how awesome the previous night was and how difficult the many photographers were at the Otter Cliffs. Turns out she was shooting just above me from the road turnout where our cars where parked. I was down below with this granite rock as my anchor for the image.