There’s not going to be much of a sunset anyway.
Normally, in order to better plan and prepare for going out to photograph I pay very close attention to the weather forecast. Especially if it’s predicted that any type of storm or cloudy skies will be clearing out so as the tail end of the weather system is moving out as sunset approaches. This will greatly increase the odds of there being some dramatic fiery color in the sky. You know, the kind of sky we landscape photographers live for.
Well the most recent forecast for yesterday, at least the most recent one I remember reading, gave me absolutely no indication that I should be thinking about heading to somewhere more scenic than my back yard to watch the sun go down.
So instead, around 9 o’clock yesterday morning I decided to fire up the smoker, season up a nice piece of pork shoulder, and get to smoking it, with a yummy batch of pulled pork being the end result
– my apologies to the vegetarians and the vegans in the audience –
No big deal, right? The sky is grey and it’s been spitting snow all day anyway, so instead of photography I’ve got dreams of tasty barbecue dancing in my head.
Camera, what camera? I’ve got food on my mind.
Fast forward to 3:57 p.m.
Here I am, sitting in my chair, laptop open and a cup of coffee on the table beside me while I work on editing some photos. There’s not much I can do while I wait for my juicy pork to finish cooking anyway. Checking the temperature it appears Ive got another hour or so before it’s ready. Again, no big deal, I’ve already written off the idea of going out for sunset, which at this point is only about 45 minutes away.
As I take a sip of coffee I glance out the back window. Is the sky getting brighter? No, that can’t be, it’s supposed to be cloudy all day and into tomorrow. The forecast couldn’t possibly have been wrong 🙄
But it is getting brighter! It’s doing exactly what I would normally hope for every single time I go out for sunset.
I’ve got to do something! I can’t really go anywhere because the grill is going and if I left it unattended and ended up burning down our house, I’m pretty sure my wife might be just s teeny-tiny bit upset with me. Besides, at this point even if I could leave, by the time I got my cameras together and drove anywhere I’d most likely end up watching the light fade as I was still behind the wheel of my car on my way to wherever I was trying to get to.
So in an effort to capture something, anything, without venturing too far, I grabbed my Fujifilm X-T3, slapped the XF10-24mm f4 zoom on it and headed out the back door. Up the hill behind the house I went, looking for anything that might make a halfway decent composition. That sky was too good to pass up. I knew I wasn’t going to come away with any website worthy images, but I had to at least try to make a few decent photos. Boulders, tree stumps, snowy ground, and bare trees silhouetted against a fiery sky backdrop, I tried it all. I even ran out to the front yard to get a shot of our house beneath that sky.
For better or worse, I had plenty of time to run around too.
It just went on and on.
More so than the fact that I was unable to go anywhere, the real slap in the face was that this amazing sunset just went on and on and on. From the time there was no doubt what was about to occur, (see second image), to when the last light faded from the sky, the spectacular light and fire lasted almost 35 minutes! Anyone who’s ever witnessed such a display knows how fleeting they usually are, often with the color fading in as little as 3-4 minutes.
Though the pulled pork may have ruined my chances at a good sunset, I got even when I took the first bite!
Adding insult to injury. (or maybe, Mother Nature just hates me).
As if not being able to make it out to photograph last evenings sunset wasn’t bad enough, below is a quick phone shot from the light show as the sun set today.
And I wasn’t even cooking anything.