When an Average Sunset Turns to Gold

The night before had been one of the most beautiful sunsets that I had seen on the Bellarine for a long time. Vivid red streaks of colour across the clouds, casting red across the waters of the bay.

The water was eerily still but beautiful. Oh so beautiful and here I was cursing, cursing that I had left my camera at home.

When I had left home earlier that day I had actually stopped in the driveway and said to myself “Go and get your camera”, but no, I knew better, I had done that many times before and the chance to capture something really special did not eventuate. “Today would be like that,” I told myself as I hit the accelerator and drove on to my destination.

Well now I was paying for that decision. I checked my phone to see what the weather would be like tomorrow and noticed that it was going to be very similar to today. Could it be, could it be that I would get a second chance to capture that magnificent sunset?

Next day arrived and I wasn't going to miss out two days in a row. I drove to the Eastern Park Circuit so that I could secure an uninterrupted view of Geelong looking over the bay and waited for sunset. There weren’t as many clouds tonight but the sea was calm again.

There are sunsets and there are sunsets and tonight turned out to be just another sunset. I have seen so many cliched sunset photographs and I certainly do not want to put my name to one of those. I took some photographs and then some more. I changed aperture, focal length, direction and shutter speed but I knew that the photographs were ordinary, the vibrance and colour from the previous night were missing and nothing that I could do would make these images any better.

My only hope was to wait for the afterglow of sunset.

So I waited. As the sun set below the horizon, my pessimism turned to mild optimism and the first show of real colour emerged and grew. The water turned gold in front of my eyes. I would have to work fast as this light does not last for long.

As a photographer you learn that these moments are rare and transient. They build adrenalin which forces you to concentrate on the elements that are going to make your images standout. In this instance the elements were crystal clear.

The gold of the sea, the cloud, the colour of the sky and above all else, the sense of tranquillity at that moment. The moment when the last vestiges of day turn to night.

To me, a photograph must create an emotional connection between the image and the viewer and that is what I was striving for in these images.

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