This Photograph of the Week I almost didn’t catch.
My wife and I had just moved everything she owns from Houston back to Arizona. We have waited nearly three years to be living together in the same house. We had solicited the help of her parents for the long drive across the southern states to Arizona. Having been home for most of our first week together, a good friend invited us up to his place in Cave Creek for a visit. We graciously accepted the opportunity.
I had promised we would be in Cave Creek by 6:30 and I am not one to keep people waiting. I had been watching the clouds all day and the sky was promising quite a show at sunset. A sunset that would probably hit it’s peak right about 6:15 or 6:20, just as we would be driving north to my friend’s house. Before we left, I grabbed my camera hoping that we could make it to Cave Creek before the sunset completely disappeared.
Sure enough, as we left the house the sun was settling low and the intense evening light was bending into an array of warm colors. The clouds that evening were hinting at a storm and made the perfect canvas for bold strokes of orange, red, pink and violet. I found it difficult to keep my eyes off of the sunset and I’m sure everyone in the truck thought I was nuts as I was mesmerized by the torrid display. I got us into the driveway just as the sun was disappearing, the oranges and deep reds and faded and the sky was washed with the afterglow of pink and violet tones splashed against dark stormy clouds.
At the risk of being entirely inappropriate and rude, I said a quick hello then darted back to the truck and grabbed my camera. I rushed across the street from my friend’s house, which was luckily next door to natural desert, and snapped off a few choice shots. It was hard to tell if I had caught enough of the light. The pink tones were so subtle as the sun faded they could easily not show up. Luckily, with some developing in Lightroom I was able to enhance the subtle tones in the finished image. I almost missed this one, and certainly missed the grand show. But what I did capture was something that I think turned out much more compelling than the blaze of full sunset at it’s peak. The mood in this photograph plays a much deeper, more intricate melody.
We truly have some of the most amazing sunsets in the world here in Arizona. As a budding photographer, it’s heartbreaking to miss opportunities to capture something amazing. But if you pay attention throughout the day, and you are prepared with your equipment at the ready, you’ll have the advantage.
- This image was shot on a Nikon D300 with a Nikon Nikkor 10-28mm WA lens.
- Exp: 1/20 sec, F/4.5, ISO-200, 24mm.
- Originally shot in RAW format and processed in Adobe Lightroom.
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