So first let's talk gear. I know gear isn't "everything"...But sometimes it really is. The body used was the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. The body selection here isn't the most important part because I was mounted to a tripod when I shot it. That way I wasn't relying on the camera's image stabilization, and I could follow this person as the walked along the pier while keeping the horizon level. Of course it could have been done hand held, but keeping a level horizon while panning can be tricky.
Now remember I said that gear DOES matter sometimes? Well this is the piece of gear that made the shot. The mZuiko 75-300mm was used for its long 300mm focal length. Sure the girl walking on the pier was a little ways away, but I chose the 300mm length to help "magnify" the sun. If this were to have been shot with say a 12mm lens, or 75mm lens, the sun would look like a small dot on the horizon. But with the lens zoomed out to 300mm we get that enlarged appearance of the sun that I desired. So there is a little trick for you there. If you want the sun(or moon!) to be BIG on the horizon in your photos, use as long a lens as you have. The longer the focal length the more pronounced the enlargement will be.
Now how did I get the shot to be silhouetted? I was shooting in manual mode, but you could easily do this in say aperture priority mode. I had the camera set to center weighted metering, and metered off of the wisp of clouds to the upper left of the scene. Actually, that is where I set focus too. Shutter speed was 1/6400th of a second as that is what was needed to expose the clouds properly and help throw the foreground into shadow creating my silhouette. Aperture was set at f/6.7 for no other reason than it happened to be there from a previous shot.
Long focal length
Expose for the sun and sky
And keep the iso low. I was at 200 iso in my shot.
So now the inspiration for this? It is simple really. I wanted to give the feeling of solitude one can get while enjoying a glorious sunset. It was easy to do as this person was walking alone, and seemed lost in their own little world while the day came to stunning end.
I hope you enjoyed this little write up and I look forward to any feedback you may have.