Seeing Things, Saying Things

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Posts Tagged ‘colorful sunset

Anniversary of a Dramatic Sunset

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One year ago today I created what may be the most dramatic sunset photographs I’ve ever made.

We were staying at a bed and breakfast northeast of Tucson, Arizona, at the home of a couple that had some land. Therefore, I had some open views of the surrounding landscape, which includes the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Saguaro cactus plants are a mainstay of the Sonoran Desert though they tend to do best on steep, rocky slopes.

Our hosts had a number of tall saguaros and I walked around their property looking for a suitable one to use to frame my images.

There was a cloud cover that was, fortunately for me, moving on. Ken said those clouds would yield a nice red sunset.

He proved to be right. The skies to the west were clear, but the edge of the cloud cover was still overhead.

That was key because it is not the sun itself but the reflection of light from the setting sun that creates the spectacular and dramatic colors that give a sunset its stark beauty.

From a scientific perspective, what we see  are light rays reflecting and then scattering after hitting particles of dust, water droplets and ice crystals.

Scientists say that the colors produced by light depend on how far it has to travel and at sunset that path is farther than it is in the middle of the day.

In short, what we are seeing is a filtering effect. Colors tend to be more vivid in skies that are dry, clean and contain smaller particles. This image was made in October when the air tends to be drier and cleaner.

From a photography standpoint, I’ve noticed that getting good sunset images takes patience as well as the ability to react quickly.

The dramatic colors of sunset don’t last long. They can peak and be gone in a matter of minutes. Maybe it is my imagination, but they seem to vanish much faster than they appeared.

But that’s probably a result of the run-up time to the sunset, which is often going to be long as you have to get in position for nature’s show and then wait for it.

And what a show nature can put on when conditions are right.

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Cactus and Sunset

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The sun will soon be going down over the Santa Catalina Mountains that surround Tucson, Arizona, and the host of the bed and breakfast where we were staying has indicated that it should produce a spectacular sunset.

That will occur in a few minutes, but in the meantime, I’m trying out some other angles to capture the last of the sun on this splendid October day.

This three-image sequence works with two separate saguaro cactus plants to show the progression of the sunset.

I was fortunate to have the edge of a cloud cover that moved on at the right time. It would be the presence of those clouds that would make this sunset so dramatic.

Sinking Into Lake Erie

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Interstate 90 in the vicinity of Erie, Pennsylvania, is built on a series of high bluffs that provide a view of Lake Erie to the north.

The view of the lake is particularly pronounced near North East, Pennsylvania.

We had just finished dinner and were headed back to Ohio on I-90. I was sitting in the passenger seat, my camera in hand. I had a few opportunities to catch the sunset and this was the best of the lot.

The sun is about to sink into the lake, ending another day.

Another Lake Erie Sunset

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We were having dinner in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio, at a restaurant that has a deck right on Lake Erie. We make it a point to go there for dinner once every summer on a warm evening.

This year we arrived later than usual. It was the first time I’d been there as the sun was setting.

Soon the sun would descend into a soup of gathering clouds.

Red Blinking Light

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On the railroad it is known as an EOT, which stands for end of train. It is a mechanical device that readers the air pressure at the end of the train and relays that information to the engineer in the locomotive.

EOTs have a blinking light so that a stopped train ahead is visible to a train that might be behind it.

This train is moving westbound through Olmsted Falls, Ohio, on tracks owned by Norfolk Southern.

The clouds to the west have begun breaking up enough to let through the last light of the day.

I was trying to time the blinking of the EOT to capture it as the train moved away from me. The starburst effect was simply a bonus.

Sunset Casts its Glow on the Mountains

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The sun is setting in Scottsdale, Arizona, as we wrap up a visit to Pinnacle Peak Park. I can’t see the sun from where I’m standing but I can see the reddish glow that it is casting on the nearby mountains. It is a sight I will never tire of seeing.

Sunset Over JFK

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pan-am-727-jfk-december-7-1982

It is Dec. 7, 1982, and I am in the boarding lounge at John F. Kennedy International Airport. I’ll be boarding a Pan American World Airways flight to New Orleans.

That is probably  my plane in the foreground because my flight log shows that I flew on a Boeing 727.

It had not been all that long since the U.S. government had allowed Pan Am to fly domestic routes. For many years, Pan Am could only carry passengers headed overseas.

The sun is setting and I’m captivated by the sight. I see some possibilities, namely framing aircraft at the gate and the setting sun.

This image is one of several I made, trying different settings and framing. It is my favorite of the batch.