This blog I am putting my writing first and pictures last. If you just want to look at the sunset pictures you can just skip the reading.
I drove up the hill to shoot the sunset last night.
When I arrived at my favorite place, I was alone, had the place pretty much to myself. It was warm out in the bright sun, and it felt good. There was one motorcycle and a couple trucks that came into the parking area then left.
I took some initial photos then got out my tripod, more for a reference point and working platform than to steady my camera, there was plenty of light.
I had been there almost an hour. Shooting photos and listening to my CD player. I had been looking at how best to line up the water and the trees. There comes a point in most every sunset when it changes in tone and undergoes a color shift (usually two of them), as the sun slips behind the filter of relatively dense atmosphere near the horizon. At this latitude the air is thinner than southern areas, giving an "effective" altitude gain of about 2,500 feet.
As the sun moved and reflected on the water I could see the composition I wanted right in front of me, so I moved the tripod which was a few paces away.
As I got ready for this shot this song started playing, Midnight Man, an old James Gang tune from the 70’s. I took several shots in the next few minutes and listened to the music, and although I was thinking about the pictures I let my mind wander.
It felt very nostalgic, you know, the feeling that your whole life is ahead of you, like when I was only 15, but different. When I was 15 years old, along with all that promise, there was so much angst to deal with, and the loss is of innocence, the gain of independence that seemed such a hurdle to get over. Nostalgia for me is something that sort of re paints the past and takes way the angst, and makes it a pretty picture in the mind’s eye, more of a feeling than a picture.
But it also had so much more than that, the spectacle of the sunset always moves me, the more I do them the more it moves me each time. I have a feeling of anticipation, knowing what it may look like in a photograph, and seeing such a wonder at the same time right before me, and all around me, being right in the middle of it.
There are other feelings as well, added dimension of time and space, and it will come back just by thinking of it or seeing one of the pictures, like a link to nostalgia.
The second color shift always goes to red, as the sun approaches and finally slips behind the horizon. It was turning cold, and I warmed the camera and me with the truck heater before the last few shots. I was thinking about the cold to come and all the gear I would need to pack along to do this in a couple months, not so nostalgic! Sometimes I stay and shoot long after the sun sets. This time I left shortly after, I had gotten all that I wanted and more, I had seen the show and it was time to go.
I’ll be back…
The alpine is red in the fall on the mountains to the east.
Start of the first color shift.
More color shift
Second color shift (to red)