IT WAS SO CLOSE.
After we got Sam from the airport, we prepared our gear for a drive over to Snake River Outlook to do astro photography. The skies were filled with high and medium level clouds - a recipe for a spectacular sunset (here’s some proof).
As we approached the parking lot for the outlook, which was about a twenty minute drive away from our camp, we were baffled by the sight. The pre-golden hour light was breathtaking, and it only improved as time went on. We all set up our tripods and started making photographs of the sights.
All of us made a few iconic compositions, such as my Ansel Adams look-alike, as one would not be able to resist making. I started to look around for more intimate photos of the peaks and saw how the light was wrapping around this particular peak. A cloud was hovering over it, slowly moving past.
But I was rushing. I had this never-ceasing anxiety that I was going to lose this light, so almost every photographI made at the outlook was rushed. This one was one of my biggest disappointments.
I was using the 2x extender again, on a tripod, no image stabilizer, but I didn’t focus right. Usually, with the 2x extender, I focus with IS, and then turn it off and double-check the focus. This time, I just went right in with no IS, focused once, and went with it.
I was so wrong. Everything is soft. It was barely off, but enough where I can’t even print this. It’ll look fine on a phone screen, but that’s not how I want my photographs to be viewed.
The lesson learned from this image is one that I’ve known, but didn’t bother implementing while making this photograph.
Take your time. Slow down. Enjoy the sight, and make sure you have everything right. I was rushed to make sure I didn’t lose any of that tasty golden hour light, and it was my downfall.