This photo was taken recently when I was in Tallassee. I’d planned to try to capture sunset at the river bridge, but sunsets generally are not striking unless there are clouds for the colors to reflect off, and this was an evening without a cloud in the sky. So I just rode around for a while, looking for something else that struck my fancy.
About a mile from my parents’ home, I turned onto Indian Trails Road and saw a field of hay “bales.” (They aren’t bales anymore, but I don’t know what to call the large circles of hay.) Next to the field, across a dirt road, was a herd of cows (Gurnseys, I think), and down at the end of the road was a huge oak tree. The sun was setting behind me, but it was creating beautiful colors 180 degrees away and behind this wonderful bucolic scene.
It was actually darker than you see in this photo, and I was shooting handheld shots, so the ISO noise is pretty evident, but it still came out as serenely quiet as I felt it… crickets chirping, leaves rustling in the trees, nothing but the sounds of nature.
I took several shots showing hay only, cows only, hay primary and cows secondary, but ultimately settled on this one with cows primary, hay secondary. I also chose to give the sky more prominence than the pasture, just because it was so clear and bright.
One thing another photographer taught me years ago is no matter how focused you are on your subject matter, don’t forget to turn around and look at what’s behind you. I find that to often be excellent advice when planning to shoot sunsets. Sometimes, the view 180 degrees from the sunset is just as pretty as the sunset itself.
Looks best when you can see the details.