Sundown with Nancy

Okay, fine, it was sunset, not just sundown. But as much as the golden hour is hyped, and for good reason, I prefer the afterglow. Or sure, you can call it second sunset, or blue hour. Is it blue though? If anything, it doesn’t cast much of a hue. It’s very muted lighting and even the sky colors are not quite fully blue. No matter what you call it, the pink to blue gradients are gorgeous. It’s a fleeting moment that is wonderful to enjoy, yet easy to miss.

The Location

Southeast end of Candlestick Point. R.I.P., Candlestick Park.

The Model

One of the sweetest people you’ll meet, Nancy @msnancytong

The Shoot

I setup a 600w/s strobe for this shoot but the natural light was already so nice and soft that I didn’t end up using the strobe. I prefer light from a flash but I also don’t want to use it just for the sake of using it…only sometimes. I switched to a speedlite on a bracket to shoot with and once my arm got tired, I took off the bracket. Unfortunately, that’s a common occurrence for me and any time I use a bracket, my arm gets tired. I’m only mildly embarrassed to admit that.

I know it’s popular to have the model stare into the setting sun but I personally don’t like that. I’ve done it, I just find that it’s not my thing most of the time because I prefer cool colors anyway. Instead, I tend to either avoid the sun or use it as backlight and I do think it looks cool as a hairlight.

We shot using the sun as a backlight and once there was no more direct sunlight, we went by the water. Although we really were just killing time and I was waiting for the light to change.

Once it started getting dark enough we moved onto the pier. You never know what you’re going to get at this point, or maybe some people do and I just don’t know the trick. The light changes really quickly from this moment on and there’s not much time to plan. You just shoot and work with what you get. At the pier, we ended up getting this very bright yellow orange. Then, after that, we quickly got these lovely pink and blue hues. After about 15 minutes of shooting at the pier, it got too dark and we wrapped up.

Check out the gallery and the behind the scenes video below.

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