Taken on the Lancelin (Western Australia) sand dunes at sunset. I was about 150m from the model and whilst initially disappointed that the sky had some light cloud, I now believe it adds to the photo. What are your thoughts?


Indya by Kim Illman
Canon 7D; 500mm; f/4; 2x converter

Don’s response
This is a fine example of putting all the main elements in place through careful planning – and then benefiting from a little good luck.

As Kim notes, the light cloud really contributes in an important way to the final image. Imagine all the other elements unchanged but with an empty sky… It would be a much less interesting photograph without the intriguing variations created by those wispy clouds.

From the look of it, the sun was maybe 5 minutes from reaching the horizon and perhaps 20 minutes from disappearing altogether, so Kim’s model didn’t have many opportunities to throw sand up. Getting the pose just right with the sand forming a heart shaped cloud overhead is something special indeed and proves once again, that like the clouds, what transforms a set up shot from ordinary to memorable are often the things you can’t control.


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