That’s right – It’s All About Perspective.

I set out a few days ago to make photos of the sunset – hoping it would be one worthy of being photographed!

As luck would have it, it was! However, the resulting image wasn’t perfect and the perspective was the problem, as I’ll explain.

First, let me give you an idea where this image was made so you’ll have an understanding. Photographing the sunset (or sunrise) is always a race. You have to get there well before the ‘event’ and stay well after (in the case of a sunset). You don’t want to arrive too early, because well…. it’s boring. However, arrive too late and the whole trip was wasted. I plan every shoot before I leave… sort of. I have an app on my phone that will tell me the time of sunset (as we all do), but I also have another app that will show me the position of the sun relative to where I want to be standing, which is pretty cool!

That app is named; “Golden Hour”.

I’d been to this location before, but every sunset is different and I wanted to include a fishing pier that’s there in the image. The previous time, I was on the pier and only shooting the sky and water.

So, where is this location? Let me first just say that it’s in Jean Lafitte. This is a favorite spot for me as there is a lot of water, birds, marsh, trees and boats. Some boats are hunks of sunken junk (my favorite) and others are perfectly operational (also good).

A large overview.
A bit closer
If you can see the red ‘X’, that’s where I was.
That’s close enough!

Alright, now that my location is clear, let’s get to the final images and the problems that I have with them.

This is the resulting image.

Above is the resulting image. It’s not bad, there are several things that I do like about it. I like the sky. There are at least some clouds and that’s always good. I like the reflection of the sky in the water. I like that the sun has a ‘sun burst’ so you can see the ‘rays’, that’s always a nice touch. I like that the little covered area of the pier is set off center (using the rule of thirds). I like the sun lit areas under the pier. So, I like a lot of things about it and that’s why I posted it to facebook. It was fairly popular too, which is always nice!

Now, there are a few things that I’m not so happy about. First the photo is cut in half. 50% sky and 50% water, I’d rather more of one than the other. The sun is centered in the image, again, I’d like it to be off to one side or the other. The biggest issue however is that the top rail of the pier is sitting directly on the horizon, I don’t like that at all. However, there is a marker of some sort out further in the water that would have been visible and very difficult to remove in Photoshop. I actually moved to one side to hide it behind a vertical section of the pier. Now, you may ask; Why didn’t you move if you didn’t like the final arrangement? Well, I was on a small raised levee (as you can see from the image of me above). The only way would have been to set my tripod up higher. It was already at a height that I could see the display screen and controls. Any higher and I could introduce camera shake and I’d have to create images ‘blindly’ as I wouldn’t be able to see the exposure settings. Even trying to ‘zoom’ in didn’t help the situation.

However, there’s always another way. Trying to work two cameras at the same time usually results in bad images from both, especially when one of them is flying. So, I waited until I had what I wanted from the ‘ground based’ camera and launched my drone.

A change in perspective is all that’s needed to get a completely different image.

To my eye, this is a better image – technically.

Of course, this isn’t a perfect solution. The camera on the drone isn’t of the same quality as my DSLR (of course). This isn’t much of a problem on web sized images, but it would be very noticeable should a print of any size be made. Still, I like this one better. There’s separation between all the elements of the image.

What are your thoughts?

A little ‘behind the scenes’ video of the drone landing.

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