A few weeks ago I went out in the evening to test out my method of using filters on the Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 fisheye lens, and to try and get some photos of the sunset.

Harborough Hay field at sunset

Now, I'm normally a snap-shooter. Generally I spend my time taking and processing lots of mediocre shots in the hope that one or two might turn out nice, rather than visiting the same location every evening for a fortnight hoping for the weather and light to combine to produce an awesome shot.

I was quite lucky in that the evening I decided to go out, the sunset and clouds were both quite good (nothing amazing though). Normally if I go out thinking there will be a nice sunset, the sun will set behind a bank of cloud, making the sunset a non-event.

Harborough Hay field at twilight

I found using a tripod and remote shutter release essential, as at ISO 100 the shutter speed needed was about 1/20 - 1/2 a second. However, if using a high ISO capable camera like the Nikon D700 and an image stabilised lens like the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR, then I imagine that it would be perfectly possible to just go on an evening walk, snapping sunset and twilight shots as you go along, with no need for a tripod.

For the sunset photos, some of them I made by merging bracketed exposures, some just a single exposure with a split ND0.9 filter on the lens, and some by merging bracketed exposures that were taken with the split ND0.9 filter on the lens.

Harborough Hay field at sunset

I was quite surprised that the whole time I was standing out in the field (over an hour), I didn't see anyone else, I thought I would at least see a few people walking their dogs. It made it nice and relatively peaceful though.

When taking my sunset photos, I took the approach of staying mainly in the same spot, and just taking photos every few minutes as the light and clouds changed. Unfortunately this resulted in most of the photos looking extremely similar.

Harborough Hay field at twilight

I think in the future I will try to move about quite a bit when taking sunset photos to at least vary the landscape, even if the sky will still look similar in most of the shots (depending on how much the clouds move).

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