Some time back I read a blog post by Joshua Cripps (I think so anyways) about things you need to do as a landscape photographer. One of the key things he pointed out in that post was staying out until all the light was gone, into blue hour if you are familiar with those concepts. I recently learned that lesson the hard way and missed out on some potentially amazing images.
I was visiting the sand dunes near my home last weekend and was blessed with some amazing images as the sun was setting. But what I screwed up was that I headed back to the car early. I did this out of good intentions because my wife was waiting for me and needed the car to be unlocked. So after I came back to the car and chatted for a while I expected the sunset to go poorly from that point. I was very very wrong.
The sun set in such a way that it lit up the underside of the clouds in a brilliant orange. I scrambled up a hill to grab this image, but the composition and the ISO were way off to make this image worth while. I got burned by my own impatience.
Usually the last few minutes of light, especially with some clouds turns out to be some of the most spectacular light you will see. Even after the sun goes down, that is when the best light can be seen on the underside of the clouds.
Take if from me, don’t make this mistake.