Sunday, December 12, 2010


  My trip home from work every evening takes me south on Highway 411 towards Madisonville from Vonore. When I turned onto 411 heded home on Thursday evening, I was greeted with an incredible light show of a sunset off to the southwest.
  I don't usually get to photograph the sunset because I am normally going on to another function directly after work.  I didn't have any where else to go that evening and couldn't pass up the opportunity to stop and fire off a few shots.
  There is a set of railroad tracks that runs parallel to Hwy 411 that is between 100 and 200 yards from the highway.  I wanted to use these tracks in my shot so I immediately turned down an alternate road and found a decent vantage point to compose from. 
  I was really drawn to the crossing gates on either side of the tracks so I oriented my camera where I had one up close and the other fully in view behind it.
  I composed at an angle to have the train tracks behave as leading lines carrying the viewer's eye from the front and right of the shot to the glowing sunset in the back, and left.
  With an extremel contrast in the scene of bright and dark light, I took shots with the intention of processing it as an HDR. With that in mind I auto bracketed the exposures at a -2 setting.
  Tried to process the HDR myself, but the software I use does not do well with extremely bright spots in the shot. It overexposes it to the point that it turns black. This was disappointing.
  This called for some backup. Yesterday I gave brother Jim a call and asked if he do the processing for me. He said yes and I forwarded the shots to him.  A few hours later, viola! Jim sent back the image you see at the top of the post.
  Needless to say, I was extremely happy. 

Details: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80mm lens @ 28mm, polarizer filter, 3 exposure -2 HDR at f/11.


  1. Love the angle on the tracks and how they seem to be endless! Great shot, and AMAZING processing! Just kidding there.

    Suggestion: Take the polarizing filter off when shooting into the sun. It mostly only works at right angles to the sun and it will extend your shutter speeds which increase noise. Just a thought.

  2. Thanks. I'll try to remember the polarizer suggestion.