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Posts Tagged ‘sunset’

IN THE FIELD: Sunset Snow

February 7, 2014 21 comments

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Yesterday evening I was closing the curtains for the night to help keep the warmth inside. And to cover the big black holes that form at every window opening when it’s dark outside.

As I looked out one of the windows on the western side of the house, I caught a glimpse of yet another vibrant sunset. The sky was brightly colored with yellow, orange, pink, lavender, and purple. As a bonus, the snow in our side yard was glistening from the light of the setting sun. I grabbed my camera and was able to take a few photos before the color began to fade.

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IN THE FIELD: Autumn And Winter Atmospheres

December 29, 2013 19 comments

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During the autumn and winter seasons, conditions are often favorable for brilliant and colorful sunrises and sunsets.

Ever wonder why the sunrises and sunsets are often very vibrant during the autumn and winter months? Well, it’s partly due to the light from the sun at sunrise and sunset must pass through more of the earth’s atmosphere before it reaches our eyes. That’s mostly due to the angle or tilt of the earth in relation to the sun. Because of this, the light comes in contact with more molecules in the air. Much of the blue light gets scattered or diffused away leaving behind the pinks, reds, oranges and yellows which become more pronounced. Another factor is the clear dry air that is present this time of year compared to the more humid air of spring and summer.

For sunset photos, be sure to stick around for 15 -20 minutes or so after the sun dips below the horizon. That’s when the color can really be intense. For sunrises, get in position about a 1/2 hour before the sun peeks over the horizon and you may just have some of the most beautiful color of the day.

If you would like to reward yourself with some fantastic images that are taken in the cooler seasons, grab some gloves, boots, a warm coat and hat, pick up your camera and tripod and go out and feast your eyes. Just remember…there is no such thing as bad weather…it’s bad clothing.

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IN THE FIELD: New Discoveries

November 19, 2013 12 comments

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Now that we are pretty much settled into our new home, I’ve had a chance to get out and do a little exploring. My last post featured the view from our backyard at sunset on our first night, which showed a church steeple on the distant horizon. And yesterday, I found the church. Turns out the original church was built in early 1700’s and has gone through renovations and expansions over the last couple hundred years.

We now live closer to civilization where running errands is not an all day affair as it was in the past. And at the same time we are still in a rural area with plenty of elbow room. So I’m pretty sure I will be able to make many new discoveries in our new locale.

I can’t wait to see what’s out there!

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IN THE FIELD: The First Sunset

November 12, 2013 18 comments

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The big move to our new home a few days ago went smoothly and was mostly stress free. Rain was predicted for the morning but thankfully it never amounted to more than a drizzle.

On the first night, furniture was placed, beds were made, makeshift curtains were hung for a semblance of privacy, and other necessities of life were located and unpacked. Take out food was the dinner of choice…after a long day, I really didn’t feel like cooking. Besides…all the pots, pans, and utensils were still in boxes.

As the eventful day was coming to a close, we went outside for some fresh air and were treated to the first sunset at our new home. This one lasted quite a while and we were able to relax outside and enjoy it before heading inside to eat dinner.

This view is looking due west. In the lower right hand corner of the photo, the steeple of a church is visible. The bells in the tower chime the time of day every hour on the hour. After the time is announced, a few stanzas of the song of the day is then played. How cool is that!

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IN THE FIELD: Coming Home

August 15, 2013 33 comments

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In the area where I live a cold front has come through and it has been quite breezy for about a week or so. With the cooler temperatures it feels more like autumn rather than August. The dry winds stir up a lot of dust from the local farms during the daytime which typically will lead to a good sunset.

While photographing the sunset the other night, a small airplane flew into view as it was making it’s approach to land at the grass airfield nearby.

The sun had just dipped below the distant tree line when I took this shot. By underexposing the shot by 1.5 stops, I was able to intensify the color slightly, and turn the tree line into a silhouette.

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IN THE FIELD: Dramatic Skies

May 24, 2013 16 comments

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Most of the land around where I live is either forest or farmland. When the ground begins to dry out a bit from the early spring rains, the farmers begin to work their fields. They use enormous equipment to cut the hay for feed, then start plowing to prepare for planting of their summer crops.

All this farming activity usually stirs up lots of dust. And when you combine all that dust, and mix it with a steady wind throughout the course of a sunny day…it’s a perfect recipe for a colorful sunset. Then it’s just a matter of waiting for evening and hoping a few clouds will stick around to add some drama.

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IN THE FIELD: Sunset Views

April 7, 2013 18 comments

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Finding good vantage points for sunrise and sunset photos in the valley near where we live is not that difficult. Most of the small country roads criss-crossing the farms and small towns in the area eventually make their way to the rims of the valley. From these vantage points, the views can extend for miles, so it’s just a matter of waiting for the right light. And for the relentless wind to end. A good sturdy tripod is a necessity.

This time of the year, we’ve been experiencing sustained winds of 10-20+ mph and gusts to about 30mph. March came in like a lion and never left. For several nights I have witnessed magnificent skies. But with the high winds, and the real-feel temperatures in the teens, it just wasn’t practical for photographing sunsets.

Finally one night the conditions eased up a bit as the sun neared the horizon. I mounted the camera on my tripod and got a few shots of this sunset. And I didn’t even have to tie sandbags, heavy boulders, or a ship’s anchor onto the tripod to keep it from blowing away.

This shot was underexposed 1 full stop from the camera’s recommended setting in order to intensify the color a bit.

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IN THE FIELD: Lake McDonald

February 8, 2012 31 comments

On our last trip to Montana, we spent several days in Glacier National Park touring, hiking and horseback riding. On our last day there, we went on a half-day horseback ride in the pristine wilderness. The trails were not too difficult, although we did travel up and down some rather steep slopes and traversed a few mountain streams. No other horseback riders or hikers were seen the whole time we were on the trails.

The last few hours of our visit were spent resting on some benches near the main lodge until our weak-in-the legs feelings subsided.

A young couple and their dog approached us to say hello and ask us a few things about the park. I guess judging by the photo equipment and the clothes we were wearing, we looked like we had been there often. The nine month old puppy they had with them was more like a full grown dog. And a big dog at that.

I can’t remember what it’s name was…something like Lakota. He was a friendly fella and we marveled at how soft his fur was. The pup was quite fond of my wife and licked her face as if he had known her all his life. At first we thought he was some kind of sled dog such as a Husky or a Malamute. Turns out, he has a full blooded wolf.

The couple explained that his mother was found injured and pregnant in Maryland, expecting to give birth in a few days. The woman who found the female wolf was a vet, and nursed the expectant mother back to health. The pup we met was one of her offspring. The couple told us they were on their way to Alaska to habituate the wolf to a more wild and natural surrounding. After chatting for about a half an hour, we all parted ways.

My wife and I then headed down to the shores of Lake McDonald to do a little more exploring since our legs were now feeling close to normal. We found pieces of driftwood, wild flowers and polished stones on the lakeshore that made for interesting photo subjects. When the light was getting too dim for photos of land based items, we found a gravel beach to sit and watch the sunset. It was a great ending to a great day.

 

IN THE FIELD: West Quoddy Head Light

January 23, 2012 37 comments

In my previous post, I described our quest to be the first people in the country to see the sunrise at Quoddy Head State Park, which is the eastern most point in the United States.

While the sunrise that morning was short lived due to dense fog, we returned a few hours before sunset to visit the West Quoddy Head Light.

The 49 foot tall lighthouse and keepers house were built in 1858 and stand guard over the Quoddy Narrows, which is a strait between Canada and the United States. Known to be a very foggy area, the beacon, fog horns and bells warn mariners of the dangerous ledges, cliffs, and the infamous Sail Rock, which is a large outcropping several hundred yards out to sea.

The lighthouse is now automated and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. While closed to visitors, tours can be taken of the light keepers house. As we explored the site on our own, we wondered what life was like for the person or family who’s task it was to maintain the lighthouse. How did they entertain themselves? Was it a lonely experience or did they embrace the privacy? Were they allowed to leave the site to go into town once in a while?

Fortunately, we ran into a volunteer who was preparing to give the last tour of the day. How lucky was that? We learned about the lifestyle of the light keepers and their families, how they maintained the station and what they did for amusement. This lighthouse is not as remote as others in the state, so the families often had visitors. The children walked to school for several miles to the town of Lubec. Supplies for the keeper’s families were procured there as well.

At the end of our tour, I was able to capture this image of the station, bathed in lavender light from the sunset. Grand Manan Island which is part of New Brunswick, Canada, is visible at the horizon, about five miles out to sea.

 

IN THE FIELD: Right Time, Wrong Place

November 21, 2011 42 comments

Our house and property is situated on top of a ridge surrounded by a hardwood forest, so the views for sunsets are limited to scenics with trees silhouetted against the sky. Now that most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, the ridge across the valley is visible and adds another layer to the scene. Which can make for some stunning imagery. For those grand vistas, a trip a few miles down the road to our local orchard is in order.

Lately, the weather patterns have been unfavorable for sunsets no matter where the camera would be set up. The norm has been sunny and breezy with clouds during the day and cloudless skies near sunset. For the past few weeks, I have been wanting to get a good sunset or two with clouds illuminated by the setting sun, so I’ve been keeping an eye out for the opportunity.

During this time of the year when it is sunset time, it is also evening mealtime for our two canine companions. You can pretty much set your watch by our one puppy, as he comes with a ten-minute-before-dinner-alarm which sounds off with him sitting right in front of you and staring until you ask him the magic question, “You ready for dinner, puppy?”

While we were getting the puppy evening meal together the other night, I just happened to look out the kitchen window. Low and behold…clouds! And they were lit up as if they were on fire! I gathered up the camera, tripod and cable release and ran out to the back yard. After quickly setting everything up and firing off 16 shots in three minutes, all evidence of the sunset was gone. But I got the shots I wanted.

And the puppy serving time was only delayed by a few minutes. Although, I did get that look that said, “David why are you getting out the camera and tripod when we are due to eat 35 seconds from now?

For those of you that have pets, you know when that mealtime clock is ticking…