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Sunset through my lens

My brother was driving his motorcycle and I was sitting at the back, as it always was. I was about 18 years old then. I had been taking pictures for a while now. A few of them were actually of some good! Most of them 'still needed more learning'.

I remember the stretch of the road; it was in the country, a long straight road with trees on both sides. Some scenic small hills formed the perfect backdrop to the one-in-a-million photograph. And the sun setting behind the hill. It was gorgeous. The trees in the foreground were beautifully silhouetted. The sun was a beautiful ball of fire. The dust created a layer that came straight from the spaghetti western movies, right behind the trees. I begged my brother to pull over on the side of the road while I had this beautiful Rule of Thirds framing with the trees in the foreground, the dust in the middle ground and this ever so gorgeous, round, glowing orange sunset in the background.

He had many more years of experience in photography and told me I had about 2 minutes to get the photograph. He reminded me to shut down the aperture completely. In retrospect, I don't think I paid any attention to that valuable piece of advice! I also had just two frames left in my 36-frame film reel, so my odds weren't too great. I unzipped my bag and took out the camera, and attached the wide angle lens to my camera. 1 min 20 seconds left now (I don't think I was very quick changing lenses!!). I fumbled with my settings; 45 seconds left... took the photograph just as the sun slipped behind the hill. I must say I was pleased with my photographer's eye and the potential entry to some competition.

As they say, the rest is history. I went back home, gave the reel for developing. Bragged my heart out to my mother telling her that my chances in the competition weren't too bad after all! A few days later, I got back my pictures. 36 pictures were dark. I think I became selectively deaf when the conversation turned to sunsets, photographs or the competition deadline.

Thank goodness I was once 18. Thank goodness I'm older and wiser now! More power to RAW files!!

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