This Christmas holidays, we decided to stay local and chill and didn’t make any long trip plans. But you know, after sitting at home a whole day doing nothing, I got the shutter finger syndrome. To add to the misery, the sunset has been really really mind-blowing for the past couple of days.
To fix my shutter finger syndrome, I told my family that we will go to Heisler Park in Laguna Beach for an evening stroll, still keeping it local.
I know this is a holiday season and everyone will be out doing something. Never did I expect such a big crowd in this park. The park was more packed than it was on my earlier visits. We managed to find a parking spot at the tail end of Cliff Drive.
We quickly parked our car, grabbed our gear and went for the stroll on the nicely paved walkway along the cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was a pleasant evening and we had about an hour or so before sunset. I did tell my family that I will be settling to take pictures by the palm trees close to sunset. The cloud formation was amazing and I know the sunset is going to be spectacular.
I quickly went to the spot to set up my camera gear, checked my settings and took some test shots. All looked fine and I was all ready to go and waited for the sunset magic to happen.
I was hoping the sun would go down a little closer to the trees but it was way outside the frame. I knew I wasn’t going to get the shot that I hoped for, so I have to work with what I have. if I have to have both the sun and the trees in my picture, I have no other choice but to go for a panorama shot and there were quite a few obstacles in the way to achieve that.
At this point, I had to make a decision whether to concentrate on getting the sun hitting the horizon in my frame or just focus on getting the tree and the beautiful sky in the background Also remember that I have to deal with people going in and out of the frame at the same time… Grrrrr too much to deal with…
I dropped the idea of having the sun in my composition and decided to focus on the twilight instead. I made sure that I took several consecutive shots for the panorama to get trees and the residual light bouncing off the clouds in the sky. Once my mind was set, all I have to worry about is to take the pictures when there are no people in my frame.
I knew this is a public space and everyone has the same rights to enjoy as I am entitled to. To my surprise. most of the folks were very considerate and they moved away after taking their selfies. I did help a few people with their selfies and they were nice to move out of the frame once they got their picture. However, I still needed to ask a few people to move out of the frame when they just stood like a block even after seeing me and another photographer patiently waiting and hoping for them to move out of our frame… Sometimes you have to do what you have to do… Be polite and respectfully ask them to move.
Overall the sunset was mind-blowing The clouds and the reflection on the water was stunning. I think I managed to get some nice composition even with all the issues and hurdles that I had to deal with on that day.
More images from this place…