Friday’s Sunset


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…

  Early Shots



The alpine is red in the fall on the mountains to the east.


Start of the first color shift.

mosaic2869937 56-57

Midnight Man


More color shift



My favorite


Second color shift (to red)








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9 Responses to Friday’s Sunset

  1. elizabeth says:

    loved the blog.  beautifully expressed.  xxx 

  2. Nae says:

    I loved the photos. I have been experimenting with my new camera, and need to learn how to post my photos like you do. It is a fun journey learning to capture things that touch my heart, and I can see why you love to capture the setting of the sun.Stay warm!May God bless you and keep you,Nae :o)

  3. Cheryl says:

    I am not an expert on sunsets but I am an expert on sunrises over the ocean and the color shifts.  About 15 minutes before the sun climbs out of its slumber and pops out of the ocean the sky turns red.  It only lasts a few minutes and I am always sad if I miss it.  Sometimes it is what wakes me up and I fon\’t get a picture until the sun actually comes up over the ocean.  So we get this red sky warning and then it fades into yellows and oranges.  As the sun rises there is a very heavy yellow orange flow reflecting off the clouds and as it gets highter it glows red.  After it creasts the ocean it is downhill from there.  It shrinks and is so bright that everything around is a very deep unattractive red.  It is time to pack up and head back home when that happens.  I always wait for a ship and hop it crosses the suns path at just the right time so there is an orange and not to dark glow from it.  It is supposed to get down to 69 degrees in the morning here and that is really cold for us.  I already set out my hooded sweatshirt so I can get pictures of sunrise in the cold… 

  4. Suki x says:

     Hi Steve
    A very moving blog, how could anybody skip it and go directly to the sunsets?   The pictures have more meaning when viewed with the script!   Very beautiful.   Thanks for your visit, wild raspberries, how wonderful!   You have a great country there and I thought it was all just ice and snow
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful sunset
    Love Suki x

  5. Aimee says:

    wow…that is awesome…
    *~*   :o) if you don’t have a smile to give today…  :o) I will give you one of mine…  :o)   *~*  

  6. Sheila says:

    there is something so calming and pure about the first shot, almost as if this is the pre 15 angst shot, where the presense of innocence resides, while the alpine shot represent a feeling of struggle and rugged harshness.  Your description is beautiful, but the photos are incredible and the effort it took to present this is truly evident in all of them.  The picture of the midnight man though, says it all.  That is the sillouette of man who seems to be enjoying himself!  One who know what it is to live in an "alive" sort of way (and still does!).  You continue to be an inspiration to,your east coast friend,down and to your left,

  7. Cindy says:

     Isn\’t is something how one song can transport us back in time?  The old Carole King songs do that to me…"I feel the earth move under my feet".
    Really like the picture with the alpine fall color.  Have a great week.  Cindy

  8. Lezli says:


  9. Nessa says:

    Totally awesome photo\’s made special by your expressive words x

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