You wouldn’t know it to look at it, but there were a bunch of people all over the place while I was setting up to take photos of this pier on lake pontchartrain which is very close to the Treasure Chest Casio. In fact, the casino and boat launch are just across the street.
I snapped several photos as the sun was setting but none of those matched my vision for this shot. I knew I wanted the orange glow of the setting sun to appear just below the walkway of the pier. I also wanted to wait until the automatic lights came on so I could have their reflection in the water. Also, as the light fades, the exposure times get longer and longer. This creates the effect of smoothing out the waves as they crashed against the pier and the rocks right at my feet.
I knew I wanted the rocks in the foreground of the shot, especially when I noticed the green ones near the edge of the water, so I made my way down, closer and closer to the edge of the water. The rocks were very slippery and I was splashed by more than one wave as I waited for the perfect moment. Photography is all about waiting, watching, planning and more than a little luck. I was fortunate that the sky had just the right amount of clouds and the glow of the sun was still visible. I was also fortunate that, at the exact moment that I wanted to make this photograph, there was no one on the pier, not a soul. You have no idea how rare an event that was on this day.
My goal with most of my landscape photographs is to capture the scene without people. The reason, for me at least, is that I want the viewer of the image to imagine themselves standing where I was and seeing what I saw. I think that the distraction of strangers in the frame would take away the ability for people to do that. It takes more effort and it isn’t always even possible, but that’s what I strive for.