I took this shot this weekend at Fairfield Lakes Park. I was hoping the sunset would pan out for me and it did. There were a lot of high clouds in the area and I arrived at the park just as they were peaking. I was able to quickly find this little spot at the edge of one of the lakes and start shooting the wonderful reflections in the water and flowers on the banks. Unfortunately, this nice moment was broken when the caretaker of the park pulled in the parking lot and began honking his horn to get everybody out so he could lock the gate.
I was able to finish the shots I needed for this image, yet I was pretty disappointed while leaving and seeing that the sky was really blazing by that time. One of the things I like about this place is being able to wander around the lakes and take a couple shots here and there. I’m not sure why they are so strict about locking up before it was even dark. At the State Park here, I can pretty much come and go as I please and have never seen a gate that could even be locked. I felt bad bad for a family that had just sat down to a picnic style sunset dinner with their little ones only to be rushed out of the park.
I don’t blame the caretaker at all. I am sure he is just doing his job and the honking of the horn, though, pretty brutal to the peaceful setting, was simply to let everyone know no matter where they were in the park that it was time to lock up.
I was happy with the photo I came away with, yet somewhat disappointed that I was unable to wander the lakes well past sunset.
Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
Settings: Bracketed exposures @f/22, 27mm Focal Length, ISO 50
Per the story above, I shot these brackets under a bit of a rush. I really wanted good focus on the flowers in the foreground and used the smallest aperture possible to get as much of the image in focus as possible. I was lucky here that the wind was dead calm as the exposures were pretty long. I did process a Photomatix version with all my brackets yet tossed it. I actually made 5 different versions of the exposures in Lightroom from the originals and blended them together. I processed 2 for the sky, 1 for the tree line, 1 for the water and 1 for the flowers and plant. The were blended together using luminosity masking, which is somewhat new to me and I am still experimenting with. I was happy with the way it worked for this photo, though.