Friday, June 1, 2007

Sunset Peeking

We were riding along the I-10 last night with a giant thunderstorm developing just behind us. The outflow from that storm swept over us and out almost to the horizon. As the sun started setting it put on a incadescent display that was stuning. The cloud only left a small sliver on the horizon for the sunset to work in. And the contrast with the dark cloud made the turbulent sliver all the more startling. I shot this through the front windshield as the car was moving along.

A few miles down the road, the sliver became a battlefield of beauty with swirling clouds and the golden orb playing games with light rays. It was too much -- I had my wife, who was driving, pull over at the next exit and started taking pictures. The sunset was just barely visible from our car and I had to climb a little up the hill to shoot. Nothing to steady the camera in some dim light. I used all the tricks I knew.

I would have loved to have had a better set up. But a sunset like this doesn't wait. A teacher I had 35 years ago said that it was the photographer and not the camera that really mattered-- a good photographer could take and outstanding shot with any camera. He was right, but I think he missed an important subtlety. A good photographer COULD take an outstanding shot with any camera -- he just couldn't take EVERY outstanding shot -- with poor equipment he has to be more selective and more creative.

Still my inexpensive Kodak served me well. I have already been budgeting to replace it. Trying to decide the next camera.

But back to the story. I snapped shots for about 20 minutes. I could have kept going for about an hour before it got just too dark. But, out schedule would not allow. it Nonetheless, I need to share a couple more of those pictures.... maybe in a day or so.

It was one of those nights that just makes a sunset photographer restless to get back to his computer and see exactly what he captured. I felt like it had been one of those very special times -- a sunset to judge all others against. It is times like these that makes me realize how much fun and passion I have for this.... keep watching this week for more.

--steve buser