There is an awful lot of empty sky above the Manteo marshes lighthouse in my image (figure 1), even though it is cropped down to a 21:9 ratio. What I wanted above all else when I took the picture was to capture the really striking, almost tangible pink blob clouds. (The sun was setting behind the photographer’s back, which explains the geography of the situation.)
Yet the pink clouds serve as a foil, not the subject of an interesting photo; the choice of subjects here was the lighthouse or a clutter of waterfront stuff I’ve cropped out. It was not practically possible to move so as to put the lighthouse in front of the most strongly colored clouds, so I settled for having the pier which joins the lighthouse to the land stretch under them. The image would have been better if I could have climbed higher and framed the pilings of the pier within the brighter water of the sound; as it is, they clutter the image by breaking the horizon line.
In any event, all I can claim is that I’ve tried to make lemonade from some fairly bitter lemons. Taste the lemons in unedited figure 1a.
Nikon Z 7ii with 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens. 24 mm, f/8, ISO 64, 1/13 s.
Cleaned up by DxO and edited with Luminar AI.