Colleen was not familiar with the term – “angel light.” It’s easy enough to see once you see the picture and imagine the rays of light shining through the clouds. I’m not religious. I would like to think of a higher spirit and that Patch is with the angels. We don’t see this lighting often. It is light that is special because it is so fleeting. It brings a smile with the memory that Colleen and I remember Patch when we see angel light.
I get gorgeous sunsets out of hand. Ho hum? No, just luck? No, I am in the right place at the right time. Ha ha – near sunset. It does require the requisite cloud formations to make things spectacular. Colleen likes it. We are lucky to be sharing such beautiful sunsets. There is a higher force looking down upon us.
iPhone 12. It’s not an advertisement. Jeff took this of Jules and Noa. Perfect. Pretty perfect. That darn iPhone took a great one. Would my camera do as well? That’s the great debate. If it would, (not), then why don’t professionals shoot with iPhone 12? Ha! There are pros (pun) and cons to the argument. But professionals use cameras because…. Maybe someday my spiffy camera will make phone calls.
What’s good? Photoshop enhanced? Is it good straight out of the camera? Do you allow major or minor manipulation? When is does it cross the line into being art instead of photography? Purist? The algorithm in the camera already dictates so much. Shoot raw? The manipulation you do, is it to recreate the image you saw. Or are you creating the image you imagined? What’s good? I’m glad I don’t have to care about all that. I have never competed in a photo contest. Well, once, and, I lost. Sour grapes? Nope. It was expected on my part. I’m good. But I am not in the same league with award winning photographers. I’m not dedicated to perfection. I could do a good job given the responsibility. Sure, but it was never my day job. So, I am content. I have a catalog with hundreds of thousands of images. Some good. On the whole there are too many good images to possibly ever post. That’s good.
From sea to shining sea, the United States people are as different as the topography of the country. There are delicate balances among ideas that clash. Among the profound beauty there are great divides in ideologies that define our beliefs. I remain hopeful and optimistic. Balanced rock, Arches National Park, will still be here long after I am gone. Someday it will fall. There is a cycle and inevitability to things. I hope we will solve climate change. I will never know. There are those who deny climate change and evolution and this never ceases to bewilder me. I have been blessed to witness much beauty in my lifetime. Would you disagree with that too?
Sunset is tricky to image. The camera automatically wants to meter the field and washes out the gorgeous colors. You have to fool it into doing what you envision/see. I’m lazy. No, not Photoshop. I use my wits to outwit the camera’s metering. Hey! It works. It’s otherwise too much to search out manual settings. The book cover photo is mine, not the book or title. Hey! They found the picture on the internet and used it! (with permission) Nice! It’s not a living, but I have sold a few pics. Not four, a few.
As in… knocked my socks off. Dave sent this. iPhone. It’s the Oregon coast. He’s camping. This is his sunset. There are pictures. Some are better than others. This would easily be in my category of “keepers.” Stunning, it’s got that ephemeral quality that technical excellence cannot surpass. I could take this picture too. But there would not be the nuance of artistry that Dave has captured. What else is there to say. It’s like taste and smell. The descriptive cannot match the sensation you personally experience in appreciating this image.
A special moment can pass before you realize. Still, in that time, I think we appreciated how fortunate we were to have respite from chaos all around us. We sat. We smiled. The sun would set. The moon rose. The cats were at peace. It’s now a treasured memory, fleeting, but dearly appreciated.
The best picture I ever took that I wish I had a do over: Random! Totally! This was on a road trip in Europe. Does it matter where? When? … a very long time ago. We had stopped (the car) many many times. The patience of my passenger/wife? was at an end. No stopping. I had a point and shoot (film!) camera in my lap. Auto anything? I just lifted the camera to the driver side window and fired one shot. One! Single! Shot! That’s it. The moment was gone, never to be seen (ever!) again. Am I clear? I missed out on a real moment. I couldn’t stop. Who knew? Well, I got something to show you all. Regrets? I have a few. But then life did turn out with a happy ending somewhere along the line. And I hope to be on the road again. And my beloved spouse will (though not intentionally) pressure me to keep on the move. Next…
Sunset… blurred. Hey! I got this out the car window going 55+mph. It ain’t easy. I could’a asked Colleen…. But no! This was our sunset on leap day. You know… February 29. Special. It was a special sunset with my favorite wife…. present wife? (You knew that.) Ah, no matter what I say from this point, I’m in deep …. I shall remember this day for the musical concert and our unspoken disagreements this day. The concert beginning was worse than watching paint dry. Oh geez! But the second half was grand, kind of like how our disagreement disappeared. Years from now, this sunset will be the signature memory. All the rest will be a memory softened by time. So far, we’ve had a very nice year. (Ask me about the disagreement? … I forgot already.)
Light is everything. It creates the mood and tension in an image. Clouds are the intermediate palette upon which to base your background. Clouds can bring tension. Or they can direct light toward your subject. It is often fleeting to have the right light. Blink and it’s gone. I try to pay attention and take advantage whenever I can.
Same sequence. We drove into the sunset. The effect was as spectacular. Pick. There were numerous keepers. It was hard to miss. The only rub was that I was shooting thru the car window as I drove and I had to wait to clear the hills in order to get a clear shot. Not bad. Don’t do this at home kids.
Pick. The nice thing about being on the road is that the sunset unfolds in front of you. You then have your pick. Evening glow, more glow, or urban traffic. You pick. I got the full experience.
Yes, it is among many others I have posted and among many you may have seen. It’s still makes us pause to see one. Someone, critically, once said to me, “You’ve seen one. Isn’t that enough?” Good point. They are all different. And the argument would go on…. My post, my blog, I disagree. I don’t think I shall never stop taking a sunset image no matter how many and where I am.
Rain had just fallen. We missed the thunderstorm. It was ahead of us. We caught the remnant as we traveled through. There was fog on the mountains. You drive a lot. You don’t see fog very frequently from the road. At least, it is a rarity for me. Layers. I remember watching layers of mountains while in the car as a kid. I recall the Blue Ridge mountains? Clouds? Layers of mountains? I’ve seen it since. They are always fun.
I’m just spinning back the image files to the year 2016. Nightfall, at 35,000 feet. I’m over Long Island headed back to the Middle East. The glow of lights below outlines civilization. There is no blankness in the landscape. I am amazed at the image. It’s not perfect. But, detail is there in the glow of sunset… enough to appreciate the curve of the earth?
Reality? Can you feel the heat of the desert? There are no trees… few. And the crowded streets. It’s barren and foreboding. It was a great adventure. I’m glad to be gone.
I learned there are no rules from a museum photo judge this past spring. A spectacular sunset was in progress as we exited a store. And, the camera battery was dead. There was no view to see the spectacular orange ball gloriously setting. Ok! Bang! The camera had 4 shots in it till the battery finally quit completely. Otherwise, there would be no image and no post. You got wires thanks to that judge. And I made lemons out of lemonade with the pattern of the sky. I like the sky but can appreciate the wires now.
How often does that opportunity arise? To demonstrate how mellow I’ve become… we ate a leisurely dinner in El Tovar. It was a superb meal. We finished just as the sunset was in progress. I would have set up with a tripod in an ideal spot if it were years ago. But I have become more of a photo opportunist. If the situation presents, otherwise I am content to let life happen. So, I got color. My sunset was not a sweeping vista. We had an excellent meal overlooking the canyon. Dinner with Colleen was priceless.
Colleen likes to eat out. Wouldn’t you? No cooking. No dishes. Someone does all the work. And you reap the benefits! Besides, it’s fun to eat different. As I mentioned, I try to take a picture every day. Some days it’s restaurants and food. Ummmm… I like to eat out too. Too much can be bad for your diet. Diet? Eat out? Sometimes the temptation is too great!
I have a thing about ordering Thai curry puffs. They are no particular big deal. But, the restaurant in NYC never had them though they were on the menu. They were always out. It’s like being hungry when you were a kid. Later in life, you just can’t resist ordering them because you can. So, I do!
Since I was inspired by the lecture at the Biggs Museum on photographic judging, I have sought/run into situations that are not ideal. No matter. Just shoot. Don’t mind wires, houses, or any other extraneous distracting elements. At least you have something. It won’t be in any major photo exhibition. But I have that decidedly ‘funky’ look that maybe more fun than I had otherwise considered. That art critic taught me that anything goes and what he likes should not have any influence upon what I might like.
These eastern clouds were being lit by setting sun in the west. It had been storming earlier in the day. I shot out the car window as we traveled down the highway south. South is always down, right? We’d been using a map that day. My companion folds hers. It doesn’t help. Two GPS devices, two iPhones, one map later and we still have a frantic scramble at the next turn. Kidding!
There is something to be said for cropping. I never considered panoramas until Dave showed me his iPhone shots. Easy!…on an iPhone. Pretty easy in Lightroom too. You have to have a good substrate with which to work. Then, it’s effective. Right image – right tool. Nice trick.
There is a side benefit to sitting in NYC traffic during the evening rush hour. I was not familiar with Williamsburg. So we had to go the hard way. GPS is nice. It will get you there. But to be a native, is to know the short cuts and avoid the sitting. We sat. But it was sunset and the benefit was that we had ample opportunity to photograph New York as I had never been allowed. Yes, we shot through and out the window. We got what we got. The new Kosciuszko Bridge, the skyline, the Empire State Building, the Freedom Tower – all of this was afforded to us.
There was a big ginormous cemetery in Queens that one rarely glimpses over the high fence. I got it with the ESB in the background. Neat!
We still sat for a good long while. But there was something to do too. Stuck in traffic? There’s a benefit. You can see the city from a vantage you will not otherwise be allowed. There are views and then there are views. …silver lining.
For fireworks, I’d guess you can’t beat the sun. My old partner used to say the sunset over Bayonne, NJ was spectacular because of the air pollution. Maybe? The California wildfires were burning furiously to the north and south of Los Angeles. We could see the smoke 65 miles away in Ventura. Maybe? Maybe it was pollution, or maybe just luck? Nature put on a spectacular display.
I get a lot of sunset shots. …because I look. After that it’s the camera that does the trick. Of course, you’ve got to know how to hold your camera. Ha! There are a few things to knowing the right exposure. There’s nothing that Photoshop can make better if you didn’t get a good image to start. I’ve learned a lot about photography. Scenes and images come around again. It’s a matter of knowing what to do. I got hundreds of sunset images. Do I need to stop to take one more? Hmmm? Each time the light is a little different, the clouds unique, the location? It’s kind of like love; I do it ’cause I am.
Hang ’round awhile. What’s the rush? Unfortunately, I shoot a lot of sunset pics from a moving car. Hey! I shot some/something. Did you? But if you hang ’round after the sun goes down, there is an afterglow that follows. That is pretty spectacular and worth shooting too.
Traveling west by car I had an opportunity to see weather and clouds and sun all interact. I ended up with a greatest hits parade. The images were too numerous to count. I was struck by the variety that nature presented. Once again, my camera did a more than adequate job of capturing what I was seeing. It did fail me in capturing the red blinking lights of the windmills after dark. They blinked in unison but my camera lag was too slow to show off all the lights. You can’t always get what you want.