Sunset over Bournemouth

by Mark
(Guildford, Surrey (UK))

Sunset over Bournemouth

Sunset over Bournemouth

I took this photo last summer in Bournemouth, on the south coast of England.

I was at a friend's wedding at the time, and the sun was setting. The sun reflecting over the water looked great, but what I really liked was the boats on the water too.

I took a few shots, of which I think this is the best one.

I like the photo, but I know it's not a "killer" shot. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who can give me some tips on how to improve it.

All the best!


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Aug 10, 2011
Slow down...think your focus !!!
by: Aubrey Barrow

I think the angle of the view could be improved by slowing down and taking a little more time to select a better angle to shoot and not to just click the shutter fearing you will miss a great shot!

Here's what I would suggest. In the future. consider moving yourself to crop in camera the image and not in the computer. Moving left or right and forward or backward will train your eyes to see more than what the brain in the camera thinks.

Leaning on cropping in the computer and using other crutches to frame the image are barriers into the image and people lose interest in what you want to convey. Some cliches I have seen are framing through branches ,fences,and the like. These overworked cliches keep people out and you want to invite them they can hang around an enjoy your moment with you !

SO here is how I would consider this shot...

[1] move to the left
[2] eliminate the shoreline completely
[3] use a full image of the 1/2 boat on the left
[4] frame it to have it backlit by the setting sun
[5] keep only about 11 boats in the shot
[6] crop out the entire right half of this image
[7] if using the rule of thirds, use 1/3 water, and 2/3 rds sky
[8] and wait...and wait...and wait for the orange, pink and magenta to start appearing in the will in about 6 minutes


if you choose to use the shoreline...use it as a curve on the left side of your photo [that will mean you move to the right] that the shoreline merges with the land mass on the lower left and that will lead the viewer to the setting sun...and I think I saw a mast on the 1/2 boat to the left...and if so...the setting sun behind the mast will lead the viewer right back to where you have taken the photograph ! And with this angle you have eliminated all the other boats [i.e. clutter]

THEREFORE...the viewers eyes will lead them through the scene more than once, until their heart is full.

That is what photography is all about ! You are sharing a slice of time...that will never be again. You must find a way...the way that feels comfortable for you ...and when you find must give them a way in ...a point of interest or focus...and a way out...You want them to relax and stay awhile !!!

And remember...

"Simplicity is POWERFUL"

Jan 23, 2008
comments from an amateur
by: Doug

The first thing that strikes me about this photo is that it might be improved if you crop off a little of the left.

This would serve to put the sun and its reflection a little more off-centre, and it would also remove the partial boat that's cut by the left edge of the frame.

Maybe it's my eye, but the horizon looks very slightly out-of-kilter. Is it very slightly up at the right?

Dec 31, 2007
Nice shot!
by: Angie

Hi Mark,

I like this picture, but I think it's the colours that aren't vibrant enough.

Not your fault. Just got to pick your moment. I live near Bournemouth lol.

Dec 21, 2007
More saturation maybe?


I like your shot. I really do. But I also know what you mean when you say that it is not a "killer" shot.

Here's my thinking . . . the sunset doesn't seem "intense" enough. The colours are a bit too weak.

The thing with sunsets (well, it always seems to me) is that they always get just a little bit better a few minutes later.

I reckon that if you had waited a few minutes more you might have had better colours - more saturated.

Just my thinking. Hope it helps!

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