Sunset At The Beach : Behind The Lens

Since this photograph has been of interest to the Viewbug team, I realized it might be a good idea to publish it as a blog post. This blog post is in question-answer format unlike the previous posts. I hope you find it informational.

Sunset Beach, New Jersey

Sunset At The Beach

Where did you take this photo?

This photograph was captured in the Sunset Beach at Cape May Point, the southernmost part of New Jersey. I am a big fan of color gradients in the sky, beaches invariably offer great opportunities.

What time of day?

It was an under the wire decision to drive from Philadelphia in the last minute. There was a lot of traffic on the way as it was a long weekend and it seemed almost impossible to get a parking space. We reached just 5 minutes before the sunset at around 6:15pm. Luckily I managed to park the car at some distance from the beach and just made it on time to capture the beautiful moment. It wouldn’t have been possible if not for my 0.3 miles semi-sprint with my camera backpack and tripod in my hand.

What inspired you to take this photo?

I had been scouting for some good locations to shoot the last moments of sunset. That is when I discovered this gem of a beach which is celebrated for its sunset view about 130 miles away from my place. I had been waiting for an opportunity to drive down and luckily it happened on a long weekend.

Anything worth sharing about lighting?

What better lighting could one ask for when there is this golden hour lighting from the ball of fire. The natural lighting was very dramatic and it was all I needed to tell a perpetual story.

What equipment did you use? (Camera, lens, tripod?, flash?, other?)

This was shot on a Nikon D7100, with a Samyang 500mm F/6.3 lens and a firm tripod.

Did you do any post-processing? if yes, tell us about it!

Some minor correction of curves & levels  and cropping of the image was done in photoshop.

What equipment do you normally have in your bag?

I always carry Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 prime lens with me for it is the lens I use the most. Even a noob can take brilliant photographs with those lens and I don’t consider myself any better than one. Next, I make sure I have Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8 lens to capture wide angle perspective. My Nikkor 70mm-300mm F/4.5-5.6G and Samyang 500mm F/6.5 does the job of zoom lens. I also carry a few inexpensive accessories that I use for macro and tilt-shift photography.

Any suggestions for others trying to capture something similar?

It is very essential to make sure that there are no clouds, the skies need to be clear during the sunset. A zoom lens with focal length of 500mm-600mm with a tripod will be necessary. If its a going to be a long drive to the sunset point, it is very important to plan ahead of time (I don’t get this lucky everytime). Come early to the place and set up your camera before time with the help of apps like Google Sky Map to understand the celestial movements. Have patience, good luck!


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By Srikanth Iyer & Anders Norén