Sometimes A Simple Street Scene Can Be Arresting
This photo sequence was shot at Ocean Grove, on Victoria’s surf coast. It was about 8.30pm and I’d noticed cloud starting to build up, low on the horizon. That’s always a good sign, if you’re hoping for a decent series of sunset shots.
So I went outside with my camera, while trying to pretend that I really had no idea that dinner with the extended family was imminent. There was an interesting range of colours in the summer sky - yes, it is summer here in Australia.
There was a striking blue high in the sky, a range of medium pastels lower down and finally the promise of gold low down on the wide horizon. I shot these frames with my favourite 18-125mm lens, which gives a huge range of options.
I shot these from a street, hoping that the dog-walker coming towards me wouldn’t think I was photographing him. I just didn’t have time for explanations. I shot high, I shot wide, I shot horizontal, I shot vertical. I composed Big Sky shots to encompass the entire range of striking hues.
And then, as the gold and the dark clouds raked the lowest segment of the sky, I composed Flat Sky frames for best effect. No matter how striking a sunset is, you always need a bit of luck, an extra dimension that is sometimes accidental. Luckily, there was a street sign, a Give Way in the shape of an inverted triangle, slap-bang in the middle of my field of vision.
As the colours began to concentrate in one long band in the dying seconds of the day, that simple street sign became a silhouette on which to anchor the last streaks of light. For this last shot (below) I opted for nearby branches to anchor the scene, using the street sign in soft focus and slightly off-centre.
For other participants in Dot’s concept, go to Sky Watch HQ.