Sunset in San Diego

by Ivaylo

Mariott sunset

Mariott sunset

I wanted to capture the reflection of the sun in the hotel and the reflection of the hotel in the water.

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It's always great when you find yourself in the right place at the right time – with a camera to hand!
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In this case Ivaylo has found himself near an impressive looking glassed building, just as the sun is reflecting off of it.

So what is good about this photo, and what could possibly be improved?

Well good things . . . the lead in lines here are good. The wall on the left of the photo creates a nice diagonal, leading the viewers' eyes into the photo.

The vantage point is good too – there's a nice reflection on the water.

The time of day is clearly good. This has not only provided a nice reflection of the sun, but also means colours haven't been bleached out by strong mid-day sun.

And so to improvements . . . one of the first things I look for in a picture is the composition.

In Ivaylo's photo there is a little too much emptiness at the bottom of the photo. Cover the bottom quarter of the photo with your hand, and you'll see what I mean. A crop could improve this – taking out that bottom section. Click to read a digital photography tutorial on how to crop.

There would be one snag about removing the bottom section – part of the reflection would be lost too. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done about that now, but a better angle when taking the original could have solved this.

If Ivaylo had stood on something a few inches higher the complete reflection could be retained. While there I would also have moved the camera to the right a touch – to get a little space around that boat on the right, and lose a little of the emptiness to the left of the tower on the left of the photo.

Composition aside – here' a tip that would make more of the reflection. Close down the aperture on your camera to the smallest setting.

By closing down the aperture to its smallest setting you will create a starburst effect. Because the aperture is so small you will need a longer shutter speed to compensate (so you may need a tripod, or rest the camera on a solid surface and use the self timer to trip the shutter). Click to read more about the aperture.

This would really bring the viewers' attention to the reflection, which, let's face it, is the star of this shot!

All in all, I rather like the shot. Thanks Ivaylo for the submission.


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Comments for Sunset in San Diego

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Sep 10, 2008
Home sweet Home
by: Gerald Spears

The picture would have been better if I had taken it. Why you ask? Because if I had taken it that would mean I was back in California. Nice shot very nice reminder of home from your camera.

Aug 25, 2008
by: Strongy

Great shot! I like it.

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