A picture is worth a thousand words
Sunsets, like childhood are viewed with wonder not just because they are beautiful but because they are fleeting – so said Richard Paul Evens. Whoever he may be, his words capture the feeling we have all experienced when presented with a breathtaking sunset. Sunsets are a reminder that try as we might, we will never match the beauty of mother nature at her best.
At his time of the year, The Long Paddock, in south western NSW, provides some of the best opportunities for photographers to capture that beauty. By photographers we are not talking about flacked jacketed, big lens carrying adrenaline junkies – we are talking about anyone with a camera and just a bit of time on their hands.
Any photographer will tell you that the key to a great sunset shot is to be ready. This may sound obvious but how many times have your admired a sunset, thought about grabbing the camera only to look at the photo and wonder what went wrong? There is a golden hour before sunset which good photographers know is the time to capture a beautiful sunset. This means you have to be at your spot ready to go before the golden hour – there is not point turning up and unzipping the bag as you watch your award winning image disappear over the horizon. So check your times and know where you are going. This may involve a bit of extra travel but the experience will be well worth the shot.
The Long Paddock has some great designated photography spots known internationally for their ability to turn anyone into a National Geographic photographer. Probably the best known spot is the Sunset Viewing area just outside of Hay. The area is part of the vast Hay Plains and is recognised as one of the flattest places on earth. Spectacular sunsets are so common here, where you can see the curvature of the earth, that it is almost impossible to take a bad shot. The Headless Horseman sculpture between Booroorban and Wanganella provides the perfect focus for an award winning image. Further south at Moama, the Murray River, provides a great focus for sunset shots, with the warm evening light bringing an almost heavenly feel to the river.
As you head north on The Long Paddock, towns become fewer and nature really begins to come alive. The vastness of the landscape provides ample opportunity to pull over and capture an award winning shot – and if your lucky the local wildlife will jump in to make the image even more spectacular. Just remember you don’t have to be a cowboy to ride off into the sunset.