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Autumn Sunset

Sunset, Sonora Pass (10/10/20) Elliot McGucken
Sunset, Sonora Pass (10/10/20) Elliot McGucken

These photographs are of the same sunset. One was taken before the sun set (above). The other, soon after it had (below).

Getting images like these requires scouting the location in advance, understanding where the sun will set, when it will set and how it might illuminate foliage and the landscape, planning to shoot on a partly cloudy day, getting to the pre-scouted photo location well before the sun sets and staying throughout its descent, setting up your camera properly (ISO, lens, tripod, body, trigger release, shutter speed, aperture and other controls relevant to it), dressing warmly and dryly, and having something to eat, drink and comfortable to sit on while you wait for the moment.

I imagine that Elliot McGucken did all these things, or most of them. It also helps to have a little bit of luck, though luck is the one thing you don’t control.

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