I was reminded recently while out capturing this Mt Maunganui landscape of the importance of not getting so focused on one scene that you miss something potentially beautiful elsewhere. This is especially important when photographing sunrises and sunsets, which obviously draw our attention towards the dramatic light. It is often during these times that the sky directly behind you can be gorgeous, although usually not so dramatic. Sometimes these scenes can make for some stunning images as the colours in the sky are often a beautiful mix of oranges, blues, and pinks, not to mention that the foreground and scenery will be lit with a lovely soft light from the sunset or sunrise behind you.
This was my thinking while out photographing The Mount last week. I was sitting watching the light in the sky and realised quickly that the sunset wasn’t going to turn it on like I had hoped, so I sat and waited for the light to fade and the street and building lights to come up. As I was waiting, I turned around and looked behind me to see this:
Shooting with your back to the light can create some unique challenges though. There is less light to work with, which requires longer shutter speeds, and often your own shadow ends up in the frame if the sun is still above the horizon. These challenges can almost always be overcome, however, and you will likely find that the effort pays off with some great landscapes. So, next time you’re out photographing that dramatic sunset, don’t forget to turn around!
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