I have not been very productive in my photography lately. So it was nice to grab an opportunity to go shooting yesterday evening. I decided to see what the sunset would look like from White Beach, a Navy base on the eastern side of the island and not too far from where I live. I like this location because of the numerous small sea stacks grouped together just off shore. While in these photos they look like one continuous small island, these are actually many small rocks outcroppings sticking out of the water. Fortunately, I arrived about 30 minutes before sunset so I was able to do some scouting ahead of time. Another bit of good luck was that the water was at a low mark so I was able to easily get to an area that is usually covered in water. I found two locations that I thought would be a good composition and setup the tripod.
The photo above was from my initial location. Planning is the key to getting the final result; it is not a matter of racking off a bunch of shots then trying to make something work when you get back to the computer. Sometimes there are lucky breaks (the puddle on the bottom right reflecting the clouds in the sky is an example of this; it wasn't there when I setup but with the tides coming in it filled and I got lucky to get a reflection), but to get what you're looking for it requires a vision ahead of time. Now as you probably know about me now, I'm not afraid of post-processing, but what you may not know is that most of that post-processing is considered before I've taken a single shot. I understand what the limitations of the camera are and while I try to do as much as I can on location and in the camera, I have a good idea of what I'll need to do back at the computer. I used an ND filter to smooth out the waters and aligned the sun just left of the large point on the rock on the right.