Series: Take a Moment and Enjoy a Sunset

At Blackwater NWR, the sun began to drop behind the clouds, on its way down to the horizon.

The silver-lining effect gave a beautiful, moody reflection.

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Sunset at Blackwater NWR


I cropped the above photo and loved it as well, so decided to share it below.

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Sunset at Blackwater NWR


Which one do you like better?Β  I can’t decide!


“My sun sets to rise again.”Β Β  — Robert Browning



32 thoughts on “Series: Take a Moment and Enjoy a Sunset

  1. Usually I like (and am told) something in the foreground is always good, but I think I prefer the second one. It makes the focus go to the horizon more. But I find that when I take sunrises or sunsets I am also torn between keeping the shoreline in the foreground or cropping. Thanks for sharing both, and I am going to watch the replies.

    • Thank you, Susan, and you’re welcome! I will take numerous photos with different compositions and still will see a different ‘view’ with a crop. Isn’t digital photography awesome?!!

  2. I thought I had replied, but apparently hit the wrong button, so I’ll try again I have always read, or been told, that a composition has more interest if there is something in the foreground. But I do think I prefer the second as it leads the eye toward the interesting horizon and cloud line. That being said, I find I have the same question on my sunrises and sunsets, whether I prefer the shoreline in the foreground or cropping it out. Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to seeing other responses.

  3. I use the 16:9 frame (cropped) myself for sometime, and the 8:10 for portrait. Check all my photos.
    The cropped frame displays better, this mode is closer to the way we perceive with our eyes, therefore more comfortable. Your sunsets are always beautiful Donna. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, HJ! I use my wordpress blog theme’s suggested ratio 1024×768 (sometimes I adjust the 768 down to give a panoramic view). It reduces the quality of my sharing image, but I don’t have to worry about someone ‘stealing’ and printing my photos for free. Of course, my personal printing and sales are done with the same crop ratios you use. πŸ™‚

  4. My vote is for the second version. Since there’s nothing very dominant to “anchor” the foreground of the first shot, the shoreline does not add much and tends to detract from the otherwise wonderful golden scene (my opinion). The second shot is “cleaner” IMO and my eye tends to follow the golden water in the immediate foreground all the way back to the wonderful sky/cloud formation. Position of the sun just above the cloud bank is especially nice. Very nicely done!

    • Thank you, Steve, for your critiquing comments, most appreciated! It became a surprise scene, and I was able to get several shots with different compositions quickly before the silver-lining effect disappeared. I left the first shot with the foreground in it purposely, I had also cropped it out with a more custom panoramic crop. Sometimes I have a difficult time deciding where to crop when there are several ‘options’. πŸ™‚

  5. Rules are definitely made to be broken (that thing about always having foreground). In this case, the foreground in the first shot just distracts from the drama of the sun and reflection and keeps the eye from jumping around so much. Just MHO! πŸ˜€

    But either way, thanks for the lovely sunset.

    • Thank you, Gunta! I try to stay with the ‘rules’ but I will break them just as quickly when the shot presents itself differently. I should have shared my cropped version without the foreground, lol. πŸ˜‰

  6. I actually think I like the uncropped one because it shows the curving bank as well. But then the cropped one shows more clarity in the amazing,mirror like, reflections. It’s tough to decide which is the better photo!

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