Sunset Over Back Bay

Sunset on a spring evening over Back Bay at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

June 16, 2022

Recently, I spent the evening at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach, Virginia photographing the sunset over Back Bay. It had been many years since I had been at Back Bay NWR. Therefore, I arrived a few hours before the actual sunset so I could spend some time scoping out the area along the bay for sunset opportunities.

About Back Bay

Back Bay is located in southeastern part of the city of Virginia Beach. The refuge was established in 1938 with 4,589-acres. The purpose was to create a feeding and resting habitat for migratory birds which is critical for birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway. In the 1980’s the US Fish and Service acquired the land of the refuge. Today, Back Bay NWR has grown to over 9,250 acres that provides a variety of wildlife habitats.

The main entrance to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located at the end of Sandpiper Road and the refuge is on a thin strip of barrier islands on coastline of Virginia. On the east side of the refuge is the Atlantic Ocean and to the west is the marsh waters of Back Bay. A huge drainage basin of freshwater, Back Bay drains into North Carolina’s Currituck Sound.

Photographing the Sunset Using the Gold-N-Blue Polarizer by Singh-Ray Filter

Once the sun was starting to get closer to the horizon and the pink colors starting popping up in the sky, I focused on photographing the sunset over Back Bay. To capture this sunset, I used my Canon RP Mirrorless Camera and my Tamron 18-400mm  F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD lens with Canon EF-M to Canon EF/EF-S adapter mounted on a tripod. In addition, I used my Canon BR-E1 Wireless Remote Control and a bubble level in my hot shoe. Most importantly, I used the Gold-N-Blue Polarizer by Singh-Ray Filter.

Marsh shoreline along Back Bay at sunset. My exposure settings were ISO 100, f/22 at 1/20 sec mounted on tripod with wireless remote control and the Gold-N-Blue Polarizer by Singh-Ray Filter. I rotated the polarizer filter until I got a more golden color for this image.

The Gold-N-Blue Polarizer is one of my favorite filters to use for reflecting light at either sunset or sunrise. This polarizer can give your scene variable gold or blue tones to the polarized light. This is a screw-in filter which you rotate to your desirable tone allow you to create effects from subdued to dramatic. This polarizer filter is very versatile, and I love how I can get such great tonal contrast in my scenes with the use of this filter.

My Camera Settings

When photographing sunsets or sunrises, I pretty much always use an ISO of 100. Majority of the time I will use an aperture of f/22. I always use a tripod and my wireless remote control. Most of the time I use aperture priority as I prefer to control my aperture and depth of field in these type of landscape images. Since I use a tripod, I am not so concerned about what my shutter speed is. I prefer using a low shutter speed as it smooths out the water.

March coastal sunset with reflecting clouds in Back Bay. My exposure settings were ISO 100, f/22 at 6 seconds mounted on tripod with wireless remote control. With this sunset scene I chose to rotate the Gold-N-Blue polarizer to get more of a bluish to purplish tones.

Behind the scenes of photographing the sunset over Back Bay with the live view mode on camera showing the look of the Gold-N-Blue Polarizer compared to the actual scene being photographed.

As you can see in the two images above, the comparison of the actual sunset scene to using the Gold-N-Blue Polarizer filter, I was able to get more warm pink to purplish tones. I would never be able to process my RAW image in Photoshop and be able to get these exact tones from this polarizer.

I captured the setting sun to the very last minute I could and roamed around the shoreline of Back Bay trying different scenes and different angles. I am sure I was the last person out of the refuge that evening. I enjoyed photographing the sunset which I have not done in a while and will be back to photograph the sunset over Back Bay again soon.

Video of Sunset Over Back Bay

As a Singh-Ray Filter Affiliate, I am glad to be able to offer a 10% discount when making a purchase at The discount code to use is lori10.

To learn more about the various filters I use from Singh-Ray Filter, check out this my previous blog post about being a Singh-Ray Filter Affiliate.

Let’s preserve and conserve our natural world!!!

Thank you for reading my Field Notes Blog, and I hope you will share this post with others.

All the very best,


Copyright © 2022 Lori A Cash

2 replies to “Sunset Over Back Bay

  1. Awesome look at Back Bay! So serene. Love the different filters and looks and feels. Nice work! Thanks for sharing your adventures!

    1. loriacash – Lori A Cash is an award-winning wildlife and nature photographer who has over thirty years experience photographing wildlife and nature. She, as a photographer, has always had a love for the natural world and hoped that her images would inspire others to appreciate our natural world. This love for our natural world has brought Lori into the realm of conservation photography and visual storytelling. Lori resides in Norfolk, Virginia and loves to focus her conservation efforts around the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Through her conservation writing and photography, Lori continues to want to continue to inspire and educate others about the beauty of the natural world and to advocate for the protection of wildlife with a special emphasis on waterbirds in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.
      loriacash says:

      Thank you very much, Katy!!!

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