one EV apart, and pull the trigger. You never know exactly when the light is going to be just right, so I just keep firing as the sun dips behind the horizon. In post, I used Nik HDR Efex PRO plug-in for Lightroom, then threw in a dash of variable neutral density, popped the clarity and vibrance a bit, and adjusted the temperature to give the dragon that golden hour glow. 

Not your everyday sunset shot, and just in time for the Chinese New Year, which happens to be the Year of the Dragon! EXIF data: Nikon D300, Nikkor 16-85mm VR lens at 16mm at f/11, ISO 100. No shutter speed since it's an HDR.

Duke Miller


As luck would have it, that afternoon, some artistic sand sculptors crafted this cool dragon in the sand, complete with waves. Voila! A foreground, some waves, great clouds, and a setting sun. 

Therein was the challenge: The vagaries inherent in susets when it comes to light just didn't do this one justice above. Cue the HDR preset in my Nikon D300, then set the lens to infinity, turn off auto focus, set the bracketing to five frames, frames,