Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Posts Tagged ‘sunset photography

Clouds Were My Friend Tonight

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It was cloudy in Cleveland, but the satellite image showed some mostly clear skies west along the Lake Erie shore.

So I made a trip out to Sherod Park in Vermilion, Ohio, in pursuit of some sunset over the lake images.

The clouds stayed to the east and south although there was one bank of clouds out over the water, which turned out to be a nice thing when the sun dipped behind them.

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Edgewater Park Sunset

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A sun-splashed day in late September is not unusual but having 90 degree temperatures on that day is out of the ordinary. Cleveland residents and visitors turned out in droves in Edgewater Park to enjoy the summer-like weather that felt more like July than early autumn. They were still out in large numbers at the park trying to enjoy every minute of an unusual day as the sun sank over Lake Erie, .

Last Red Light of Day

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The sunset over the mountains near Sedona, Arizona, had already been pretty spectacular, turning the clouds fiery red making them resemble cotton candy.

We faced a long drive back to Phoenix that would turn out longer than we expected due to heavy traffic congestion on Interstate 17 that we would later learn is routine on weekends.

But I couldn’t resist getting a parting shot of the brilliant colors of the clouds during one of the most memorable sunsets that I’ve photographed.

Racing the Sunset

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The sun is setting over Lake Erie and perhaps this boater is headed back to the dock or trying to get in one last run before it turns dark. The image was made at Edgewater Park in Cleveland last September on an unusually warm day.

Fishing at Sundown

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A lone fisherman doesn’t seem fazed by the fact that the sun is setting over Lake Erie and soon he will be plunged into darkness. The scene is Edgewater Park in Cleveland on a late September day that saw the region set records for high temperatures. The high temperature that day was in the low 90s. Fall has officially begun a few days earlier.

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.

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.