So I’d taken my youngest kiddo out for ice cream as a reward for a job well done, and didn’t want him to come home still eating it or I’d have some jealousy on the home front. So we went for a short drive. I ended up out of town just a bit and noticed the developing sunset. I quickly whipped into an approach on the side of the road, stepped out, and nabbed this shot. I hadn’t put any planning into it, just had my camera handy and thought I’d give it a whirl. I didn’t see the purple flowers when I pulled over, they were a pleasant surprise when I stepped down out of the truck. Everything just fell into place.
One of our former producers I worked with on various TV sports crews (NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN, OLN, Shotime, I’ve worked for ’em all at one point) used to have a saying, the very one that comprises the title of this post. Sometimes you just luck out in a way that could be mistaken for talent, preparation, or both, and you just roll with it. Check this out:
That wasn’t one of our shows, but it would definitely evoke a “lucky than good” reference. In the case of tonight’s photo, God made the sunset and I happened to stumble upon it with my boy at just the right time, in just the right place. You know, maybe it wasn’t luck at all.
This was my destination last Friday as I meandered through the countryside, one of two destinations I’d planned to visit after taking off work a little early. My wife teased me, saying that I would be home much later than the “just a couple of hours” that I estimated. She was right…I got into position and, seeing the sky to the west developing in a way that was sure to provide a colorful splash at sunset, I couldn’t resist. I put out my camping chair, got my gear ready, and waited. I was not disappointed. I even got the right angle to catch the sunset reflecting off the windows!
As for the other angle, you can see that it was a great sunset all around. I was going for the color in the east rather than the blazing sunset in the west, but they both have their appeal. I couldn’t help but try to catch the sun through the steeple.
As far as that “just a couple of hours” thing – well, this image says it all. I’m thankful to have a gracious and patient wife. Being married to me should make her eligible for some sort of lifetime achievement award!
This is the sunset from last Saturday night. I was on my way home from a men’s prayer meeting and noticed the sunset as I passed the capitol building, so I whipped around for a quick photo. By “quick” I mean I took 98 of them and ended up choosing the fourth one.
Check out the “Sunsets” category if you like this one, there are plenty more. Or the “Sunrises” category. Or the “Skies and Stars” category…they’re all good.
I’m primarily a video guy, but not when it comes to drone work. Yeah, I can do it, but there would have to be a really unique subject or conditions for me to want to do video seriously with an aerial camera. Drones (I hate that word) are kind of a one trick pony in a way, and to get remarkable drone (I used it again) video one has to do a lot of planning or live in an area that’s breathtaking without drones (dangit).
So what do I like to do, you ask? Use the unique ability of being able to position a high quality camera anywhere I want. Sometimes that may be up in the sky, but normally it’s at an altitude just slightly different from anything you could get without a really tall ladder. Typically I try to keep the effect very subtle, so that the angle catches the subconscious eye as unusual but without making it obvious that I’m shooting from an aerial camera. Or, in this case, out over the ice that would never support my weight if I tried conventional photo work. It may not look like it, but I was only about a foot or two above the ice.
I was hoping for a sunset, and that never really materialized in the typical sense, but there was still some scattered color in the sky to the south. So I worked the area, snapped away a few times, and caught what color there was in the fleeting moments before all went dim. And the best part is, I kept my shoes dry.
When I set up for this photo, I was really just going through the motions. The reason is that there wasn’t a cloud in the winter sky to break things up or throw some colorful reflections into the sunset. Well, that’s what I thought, anyway. I was pleased to get a splash of all kinds of color as the sun reached the horizon. At one point the barn was blazing with a beautiful gold, and then the blues, purples, and even a touch of reds kicked in.
I haven’t been able to do a whole lot of photography-related stuff lately, so it’s like I’m forgetting the fundamental technique of getting in place and letting the light come to me, and to anticipate great things from God’s creation. I’m glad I got this reminder as I slowly dust off the cobwebs .
No, the title is not a Metallica reference. In fact, a more appropriate word for the title might be whenever. I haven’t had many opportunities for photo trips lately, but I did get my garage Sheetrocked and lots of other big projects are coming along nicely. I did try to get out this weekend for some drone flight, but strong winds seemed to kick up as soon as I got into position. I marked a few locations for future flight opportunities and headed home, stopping to catch this sunset shot along the road as I was heading back toward civilization.
I camped out by this former church in Morton County to allow the sunset to do its thing. A row of storms had just moved through, and I had correctly guessed that the clouds tagging along the tail end of those storms would provide a lot of color to the sunset. I was correct. But I wasn’t done just then…
Waiting for the sun to go down and the moon to come up gave me the opportunity to capture some different clouds, albeit with stars sprinkled in as well. To top it all off, my friend Zach and I headed out to a different prairie church, the one I wrote about a couple of days ago.
I worked late Tuesday night, and when I left my south side studio at just after 9pm I was blown away by the clouds to the south. I’m told this cell actually put down a tornado somewhere to the west. I was concerned more with the colors, oblivious to what it was doing down along the ground.
I bolted as fast as I could in the new truck to find a spot where I could try to capture the color. I know how fleeting that sunset light can be, and last night was no exception. As I got set up and mosquitoes as big as dimes began to swarm around me, a cloud moved in along the western horizon and choked off that amazing light. There was more than what you see here when I first bolted in search of a suitable spot, and almost immediately after I took the shot these clouds faded into dull blues and grays.
I took my little family to our favorite secluded sandbar spot tonight, and it was a win on all counts. Wading in the river cooled us off in the warm early evening, a bonfire allowed for heat as dark approached and provided opportunity for lessons in fire safety while letting the boys poke sticks into the fire, and we got to watch the die-hards in the area continue to light off expensive fireworks.
One of the best parts was dancing with my wife. After a while one of the boys came up and pointed out that we were making a circle with our feet, which was pretty cool too.
I have fond memories of going to the sandbar under the Memorial Bridge in the 80s, especially in the evening after various practices would get over and we’d get a group of guys assembled for some frisbee. We’d have some fusion jazz going on a big boom box and hang out at sunset until we couldn’t see the frisbee anymore, then jet up the hill and eat insane amounts of A&W food. So to be able to share the music, the sunset, the frisbee and football with my sweetie and my little guys brings back old memories even as we forge new ones.
The sky actually didn’t cooperate with me tonight. I was working on an idea I’ve had with the Square Buttes in the foreground of a sunset shot, but the sky really didn’t do a whole heck of a lot. So I zoomed in on one portion of the horizon where there were actually some clouds. As you can see, most of this is the result of jet contrails. Oh well…it got me out of the house for a while. 🙂