Contest #45: Win a 28″ Recessed Medium Apollo (a $130 Value)

2334-Fiberglass[1]The Challenge

We are looking for the best sunset photograph this week.  Composition of the horizon line is very important for sunset images so make sure your horizon isn’t dead center – As Rick Sammon would say, “That’s deadly!”

The Prize

Our prize this week will be a 28-inch Medium Recessed Apollo Along with this Apollo, you will earn a Lightapalooza Golden Ticket, which enters you into the year end raffle and a 1 in 200 shot to win $15,000 in Westcott gear!

The Inspiration

Top Pro Elite photographer Rick Sammon shows us some tips on composition in this week’s Westcott basics video.  His focus this week is on positioning the model just right, and gives photo examples to show what works, and what doesn’t.


54 Responses to Contest #45: Win a 28″ Recessed Medium Apollo (a $130 Value)

  1. sorrellsty September 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    Experience has taught me to be patient with sunrise or sunset photography. Waiting on the light to change into those glorious pastels even after the sun is almost below the horizon may yield some great results. “Tranquil Sunset,” was taken on a local lake with light reflecting downward. Published in my home state’s Explore Georgia social media page was a big plus for me!

  2. September 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Sunset in the northern part of Phoenix…after photographing a fierce storm in the East, I turned around and saw this sunset, which was absolutely magnificent. Taken with a Canon T3i, 18-55mm f5.6 ISO 200 at 1/60.

  3. Jessica September 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    I made this image 2 days ago with my Nikon D300 and 18-200 f/3.5-5.6. I just got back from my daughters dance class and when I got out of the car I said “WOW”, when I saw the streaks in the sky. This is an unusually beautiful sunset for Bakersfield California.

  4. Johnna "Speaks" Photography September 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    I snapped this shot one evening while visiting Newport, Ky.

  5. jaimietull September 12, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    This was taken with no expensive equipment. It was shot with my cell phone while sitting on a back of a British house boat as we moored for the night in the Norfolk broads. I couldn’t pass a shot that looked majestic.

  6. Jeffery Kordsmeier September 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    I made this photograph while vacationing in Gulf Shores, AL with my family.

  7. Donald September 12, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    Sunset over the mountain. Well at least as close as you can get to a mountain in Wisconsin. This image was taken in the fall of 2012 at Rib Mountain State Park near Wausau, WI. The park is located in one of the most colorful areas of the state and although color was a bit past peak the sky and the sunset combined to make for a beautiful image.

  8. James Mayo September 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    This was shot using a Nikon D700 and 28-70mm 2.8 Nikkor lens. The exposure was .5sec @ f/2.8 ISO 100 with a 10-stop ND filter attached. The focus was adjusted using Liveview. The location was atop a parking garage in Downtown Knoxville, TN looking due west. It was my first time shooting from this location and the view did not fail to impress. The image was cropped to a panoramic style to enhance the overall feel. Minor adjustments made in Lightroom to make it more like what my mind’s eye saw that afternoon.

  9. Sara Fouts September 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    This photo was taken from the office balcony overlooking Guatemala City and the country’s volcanoes.

  10. Jeannette September 12, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    Love photographing old barns, I have many of this one if different seasons but this one is my favorite.
    Love the way the light comes through the trees and lights up the gras.

  11. Randy Kepple September 12, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    Engagement session at Newport Beach on the Oregon coast. Canon 5D-Mark I, Canon 70-200 f/2.8 (1/60 sec; f/4.5; ISO 1600). Dead center horizon lines will work as long as you have something to help break them up! :) Great entries for this contest guys!

  12. Eric Scott Miller September 12, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    I drive thru this massive wind farm every time I do to visit my family. And each time, I try to time my travels with sunset in order to capture the image I have envisioned. After two years of waiting, one recent trip, I was graced with a very colorful sunset emerging. So I pulled off the highway, waited several minutes and was finally able to capture this image.

  13. sengpiehl September 12, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    This sunset photograph was taken at Assateague National Park while we were there camping last weekend!

  14. Mark Kalan September 12, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    This image is a sandwich of a skydiver shot in Tehachapi California and a sunset shot on Ventura California.

  15. schuenke September 11, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    Sunset, Jekyll Island, Georgia. Made this shot while fighting off noseums and trooping through the brush to get this tree in backlight. 1/2 sec at f/14, ISO 200, 85mm.

  16. Jimmy Arcade September 10, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    This photo was taken under the Newport Beach Pier, in NewPort Beach, California. It was taken with a Canon XTi and the standard Canon 18-55mm crop-sensor lens. I’m proud of this because I think it’s a great photo and it was taken before I graduated to a full-frame DSLR.

  17. Darren Elias September 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    A very different kind of beautiful lady in the setting sun in New York in June of this year. Well, my 7′ parabolic wasn’t going to do much to light her no matter how many flashes I used, so I just went with natural light on this one. :)

    Good luck everyone!

  18. HHH September 9, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    My attachment was separated please see description below

  19. HHH September 9, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    After driving by this big dead tree since 1998 , I decided to stop after work one night & take the shot for myself
    the next week a storm took down the tree
    Lesson learned , stop and take the shot , capture the memory

    Camera Canon EOS 7D
    Exposure Time 0.25s (1/4)
    Aperture f/5.6
    ISO 100
    Focal Length 18mm (28.8mm in 35mm)
    Photo Dimensions 8000 x 6678
    File Name IMG_2734.jpg
    File Size 8.90 MB
    Flash flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
    Metering spot
    Exposure Program manual
    Exposure Bias 0 EV
    Exposure Mode manual
    White Balance auto
    Color Space unknown

  20. metrowhisper September 9, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Somewhere in the sky… window of imagination…

  21. metrowhisper September 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Beyond the window frame…

  22. Kevin September 9, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    This was taken in Miami Vizcaya Garden. Just as we finished the last few shots of the day. We saw this amazing light coming off the Coral deck. We asked the model to do one of her graceful dance poses. This is the one and only shot before the camera battery went dead.

    1/2500th at F/4, ISO 100
    24-70mm Lens at 26mm

  23. Amy Sammons White September 8, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    on my way home from a friend’s house and noticed how beautiful the sunset was with this sliver of moon and a single star….of course i had to pull over to the side of the road and capture this!!!

  24. Slava Ivanov September 8, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    Sunset over the small lake in a village on the middle of Russia.

  25. Jim Tincher September 8, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    This was taken during an evening swimsuit photo session. There’s not any editing done in this image as the foreground and background were both beautiful.

    Nikon D600
    Nikon 24-70 f/2.8

  26. John Yee September 8, 2013 at 2:36 am #

    Taken during my Project 366 last year.

    A setting sun that looked like it was being surrounded by a cyclone of clouds.

  27. cobrakr September 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    One light plus the sun. Photographed on location at Biltmore Estate.

  28. Paul DeCesare September 7, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    Last week I went to South Mountain in Phoenix with my 5D Mark III and a borrowed 400mm/2.8, with the intent to shoot the Phx skyline looking north. The sky over was dull but I looked to the West and there was this blazing sunset but ONLY at the spot where the sun was setting (typical for Phoenix!). That 400mm bazooka pulled in this scene as you see it, and I was so thankful for the amazing IS in that lens, my tripod was a bit shaky. I took several shots, this is my favorite. This is ONE exposure, not HDR, and no filters. I opened it in Camera Raw and then Photoshop CC and boosted Contrast and did some sharpening but ZERO saturation boost! I did use some Tonal Contrast in Nik Color Efex to punch the clouds a little and reduce haze on the valley floor. But that’s it, no added color or graphics, this was as I saw it! I did have mt Wescott 5-in1 reflector with me but no real need for it with a 400mm lens, lol. Thanks!

    Paul DeCesare

  29. AlexandraMona September 7, 2013 at 12:05 am #

    This image was captured at Lake Tahoe on Nevada Beach. Lake Tahoe has always been on my list of places to visit and it was a pure pleasure with nature at it’s best. Lake Tahoe offers very dramatic scenery and I am proud of my many other images I was able to capture around the Lake. I had a few other sunset images that I selected from and it was hard to decide which shot to pick but this one was chosen.

  30. digitaldadindy September 5, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    Saw the contest post today while following you on Twitter. After dinner, I went out with the thought of shooting across a soybean field to the sun setting behind a barn on a hill. But as I walked I came across this pond and the golden reflection off the surface was just begging to be shot. So I changed plans and caught this image just as the sun started to dip behind a low cloud bank. I added just a splash of fill flash to bring out the green of some reeds in the foreground.

    Hope you like it.

  31. dholzemer September 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    I just started volunteering with the animal rescue league in PA and am going to be helping with photographing animals to help them get adopted. It’s a new challenge for me being primarily a concert photographer so I’m trying to put the right equipment together to do the best animal portraits of the dogs as I can.. A soft box like this would be great with my nikon sb800 and I’m sure make a big difference in the work I’m gonna do.

  32. Rowel September 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    Fiery sky over Sunset Cliffs San Diego

  33. Steve September 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Sunset on Old Tampa Bay. The sky was looking like it had some potential for a nice sunset so I headed to my favorite spot (located within a few minutes of my house). As I arrived I noticed a parade of clouds in the distance that could make for a great shot or not. It turned out the sun slipped behind the parade of clouds without much fanfare. I then noticed some low lying clouds moving in to the picture and thought if the sun would catch these clouds just right I might get an interesting image. As I had hoped, the clouds lit up for about a minute giving me the opportunity to capture this image. The silhouette of the marsh grass in the foreground makes a nice balance to the sun lit clouds at the top of the image. The break in the clouds seems to mimic the break in the marsh grass giving the image a harmonious balance. The low tide and the old broken seawall also add more visual interest.

  34. Conan September 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Hello all, wanted to share a shot I took of my wife on Treasure Island Beach this past 4th of July. This was actually a few minutes past the actual sunset and to the eye was getting pretty dark. So I put the camera on the tripod, exposed f/22 @ around 15 seconds to give it a softer feel with a little movement, hope you enjoy : )

  35. Dant Heskett September 5, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    The perfect confluence of sea and sky with a well-timed seafaring vessel to add depth and perspective. Shot with a Canon 6D & EF70-200mm f/4L @ 200mm, ISO 100, 1/250 & f/5.0.

  36. Nick Shek September 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    I don’t get to venture out much to capture sunsets but they are definitely one of my favourite things to watch. It’s really amazing how a beautiful sunset can erase all your troubles, even if it’s only for a brief moment in time.

    I was incredibly lucky to capture such a vibrant sunset. It wasn’t a particularly scenic location so I got down low and used the grass to frame my shot. Taken in North East England, UK.

  37. Gonzalo September 5, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    In a collaboration between my model friend Sadie and I we decided on doing a fashion shoot during the sunset hour in the middle of nowhere. We scouted areas and found an open field with hillsides in Riverside County, California.

    This shot occurred around 8:15pm just as the sun set below the horizon.
    Equipment used:
    Canon 40D
    Sigma 24-70mm f2.8
    ISO160 1/100 @ 3.2
    Canon 550EX on a light stand and a Westcott 20″ RapidBox Octa Mini as the main
    Vivitar 285HV on a light stand with a 7″ reflector as a rim light fill
    PocketWizard II and Plus X radio transmitters

  38. PeteRezac September 5, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    University of Nevada Mackey Stadium smokey sunset skies from the recent wildfires burring out West

  39. coskier September 5, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    This is the sun setting over the Mississippi River, and the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge. Shot from the shore of the river on the Natchez, MS side. 7 exposure HDR composite.

  40. kahuna1342 September 5, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    This sunset was taken from the east side of Lake Pend Oreille in northern Idaho while we were on vacation a while back.

  41. Jon S September 5, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    A VW beetle perched atop an old chimney isn’t something you see everyday unless you from here. Capture this sunset silhouette in Amsterdam, NY.

  42. Njeanphotos September 5, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    Sunset on the beach in Norfolk, VA

  43. Mike Chambers September 5, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    Location, location, location! This is a shot I made for a real estate client. This is the view from her rear patio and if this isn’t a selling point, I don’t know what is!

    I bucked convention here and put the horizon dead center to accentuate the mirror effect of the lake. Enjoy!

  44. kelliebellie September 5, 2013 at 5:04 am #

    On vacation at The Breaks Park in Virginia.

  45. Branko Bronx Marinić September 5, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    During the great surprise storm of Ontario, that seen downtown Toronto underwater. I sat down on a wet dock with a corona far up in northern Ontario, at a little spot called Beaver Lake. The sky opened up to reveal itself to me at sunset in a way that I’ve never seen it before, it was warm and beautiful!

  46. DavidIanJohnson September 4, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    I took this sunset photo in Ottawa, on a high-rise apartment balcony. I loved the way the clouds were coloured in their own unique shade of orange, that faded the higher you got in the sky.

  47. torvaterra September 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    Sunset in a field of over a million sunflowers.

  48. Nader Abushhab September 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    This shot was taken on the summit of Mauna Kea at the observatory in Hawaii. Seeing the sunset above the clouds was definitely a beautiful experience; the colors were brilliant. I setup the shot right after the sun dipped below the horizon as cars passed by, lighting the road and providing a great effect to the image.

  49. Nick Nieto September 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Manhattan Sunset. On my first trip to New York one of my goals was to get a sunset photograph of the skyline and bridges. I found this spot just below the Manhattan Bridge and did a series of long exposures. I loved how this came out and how the misty water reflected the lights on the bridge.

  50. KTB September 2, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    Driving home and saw this spectacular sight. All I had with me was my camera so this is natural light.

  51. Sean September 1, 2013 at 4:00 am #

    During a long drive in Northern British Columbia the sky started to glow orange and purple but there wasn’t much for a foreground until. After a few minutes of driving and worrying that the sunset colours would fade I saw a field full of cows. After hopping the fence with my Canon 60d and finding a place to get the cows lined up with the cool sky behind them I started setting up this shot. The cows were pretty curious and kept moving closer and closer. Luckily these 2 stood still long enough for me to take their photo. In Lightroom I brightened the cows up by about 3 stops and added some saturation and contrast to the sky. Camera settings were: iSO 160, 1/60th, f6.3 with a -2 exposure compensation to help capture the colours in the sky.

  52. wandachiles August 31, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    This late day sunset was from taken from my dad’s backyard in Western Kentucky. I was using a Nikon 7000 with manual settings.

  53. Trystan930 August 31, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    Photo was taken at sunset in Louisville, Ky.

  54. Sandra Burchett August 30, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    I am definitely a Rick Sammon stalker! And I remember that quote from the many times that I’ve watched his amazing videos on Kelby Training! He’s the best!

    Little sunset shot on the 4th of July! The beautiful subject was all decked out in her red, white, and blue bikini, and ready for the fireworks!

    Subject was lit on the right with a quantum flash and a Westcott shoot through umbrella. The subject was beautiful, but the sunset stole the show!

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