Sunset on Mason's Island8s, f/22, ISO50

Being out in Connecticut, specifically right down on the coast, one thing we get here is spectacular sunsets. I have been going out every few days and photographing the sun as it dips below the horizon out over the water. Since its closer to wintertime the track of the sun heads a bit more south than the summer months, which is perfect for shooting out over the Atlantic ocean. For this week's trek I ventured down to another childhood favorite, Mason's Island in Stonington CT.

Mason's Island looks out over Fishers Island Sound, Block Island Sound, and right out into the Atlantic. You can see Noank to the west all the way around to Watch Hill, Rhode Island to the east. It was a crystal clear afternoon as I grabbed my gear and started looking for places to shoot. As the sun was going down I started shooting straight down the dock, then off to the side silhouetting a smaller finger dock against the sun, but it wasn't quite grabbing me. As I was walking back down the dock I spotted this particular cleat that was being used to tie up a small rowboat. I love the texture of the lines that wrap around it, as well as how they create a nice curving leading line that draws the eyes over to the boat.

I wanted to get the boat out by itself without the post seemingly coming out of the top, yet I still wanted the cleat in the foreground. To achieve this shot I collapsed my tripod down all the way and flipped the center post into a horizontal position, setting the camera up an inch or two above the wood planks of the dock, completely laying prone while shooting. It was only a few inches away from the cleat, so in live vew I temporarily set the exposure wide open to focus manually, locking on the cleat itself. Even at f/22 the background turned a little soft, which I think works here. After I had set the focus I backed the exposure down to eight seconds, and took some shots as the sun disappeared.

This is probably one of my favorite shots I have taken in a while, I can clearly see this either framed or as an oversize canvas wrap hanging on my wall.