I find great pleasure in watching picturesque sunsets, especially those hazy summer color extravaganzas like the one pictured on your left. I feel the urge to grab my camera every time I see lots of red and magenta hues, though my wife tells me to just sit back and enjoy them rather than obsessing over saving a sunset forever.
This particular image was taken as we traveled 55 miles an hour down US-24 north of Monroe, Michigan the other night. I found the halo effect around the setting sun to add to the picture instead of representing a defective technique.
Yet I have to admit that sheer luck is involved in almost every decent image. The photographer either happens to be in the right place at the right time, or the equipment performed in a fortuitous way. Sure, talented photographers can frame images a certain way, and they know how important it is to master the technology, but ultimately the "perfect" photograph has much to do with luck.
In this case (though I hardly make claims to excellence here) I simply pointed the camera out the window of a moving vehicle and let the shutter rapid-shoot. I later sifted through the dozens of images and found one with some eye appeal.
Oh, and then there's the old saying: "The only difference between a good photographer and a bad one is that you never see the crappy pictures of a good photographer."