Sunday, September 29, 2013

Awaiting Sunset

I don't very often have the luxury of relaxing and enjoying a sunset. As I'm sure is true for many of you, I may be working, have places to go, things to do, or simply not be able to get to a spot where I can see the western sky. When I do have the opportunity and the weather seems promising, I try to make it - with a camera - to a nice setting worthy of what I hope will be a bit of a light show.

This evening did not develop into one of those grand displays of crimson and bright orange, but it was worthwhile in other ways. I had dashed over to Shelley Lake in Raleigh and picked out a spot on the eastern shore. There is no view of the horizon, thanks to the hills, but the afternoon clouds had stretched across the sky, so I hoped that sunset colors might extend upward and even be reflected in the lake.

The oranges were limited in extent and definitely played second fiddle to the deep blue sky overhead. However, the quality of light on the shoreline was good for strengthening a compositional idea that I had at the start.

The next image is my favorite of the evening. All of the elements seem balanced, and it keeps my eyes moving around exploring in a satisfying way.

Next a cloud formation developed which I absolutely loved, and I tried two ways of composing around it.

The last photo returned to a kind of tranquility similar to the first shot, even though everything else about the image is different.

It was nice to just slip into a "zone" of relaxed alertness as the sky and water evolved while the landscape was pretty much static. I actually moved quickly in setting up some of these shots, but mentally it was a state of unhurried emotional reaction and technical automation (i.e., subconscious calculation). Now I get to relive some of the pleasure of being there.



  1. These are all amazing sky & cloud photos, Jess! Do you ever have your photos shown at a gallery?

    1. Yes, occasionally I do, thanks for asking. Incidentally, two of my nature photos were included in an exhibition at the Raulston Arboretum McSwain Education Center for the past month. I'm hopeful of having a recent print or two selected by the judge for the professional division of the NC State Fair fine arts exhibit this year. I've won a few ribbons there in years past, but didn't have time to enter last year. Whatever the outcome, print competition can be good for sharpening the self-critical faculties, so I will try to be organized enough to keep my hand in things going forward.


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