Sunset Photo Shoot

Trapped in my chair-bound servitude of financial slavery for the day, I venture out doors in the late afternoon and see the sky. My heart misses a few beats, its wondrous…the clouds are huge and full of detail. I pause a moment and looking west see that there are more on the horizon, headed my way.

Moments of missed opportunities from the past flood in, spurring me into movement.

I hurry home to fulfill my duties and, grabbing the camera, head out the door.

The big question is always: where to go to? My usual go-to spot is old now, overused. I yearn for a fresh new location with a wide vantage of the big, glorious sky, great foreground, no wires or roads…

I see that the sky is becoming a riot of beauty as I nervously debate which way to drive. Chiding myself for my lack or foresight in scouting some new vantage points, I robotically start driving towards my regular spot out on Highway 9…suddenly I swerve off course deciding to risk the sumptuous skies above on a gamble.

Recklessly making my way across town, I head down the final stretch of road, surveying the sky and weighing my choices. Things are looking better and better…

After what seems like an eternity I finally arrive, jump out of the car, grab my camera and tripod and set off across the green field.

Field of Andy's Dream
Field of Andy’s Dream

My doubts and anxieties vanish with a poof as I survey the scene: deep green grass, fantastical sky, a nearby hill covered with fall colored trees and the mountains up the valley.
Sunset Oct. 16
Looking up the valley

My euphoria is tempered by the need to do my best to capture some small part of the majesty before me…

I move off, setting up the tripod, composing and shooting, changing the exposure, adjusting the polarizer, laying on the ground, jogging across the field for a closer vantage of the nearby hill.

Bright orange and electric blue: the combination starts my neuro-synapses firing frantically…
Sunset Oct. 16th Cook Road
Orange and Blue…

There is a farmhouse and barn on the horizon, adding some scale to the shots, the colors don’t look in the least bit real. The sky envelops me…wow!

Sunsets in particular necessitate speed. the light is changing so fast that minutes seem like days…I dart here and there across the fields looking around I see that the western sky is also alive with bright color but I need a few more shots to the east, trying to get the perfect shot of the trees, grass and mountains…
Majestic Sky
Majestic Sky

As I near photographic over-saturation (or maybe color over stimulation?) the skies begin to darken. I welcome the break, smiling now, I stand still and just admire the valley.
Skagit County  Sunset Oct. 16th, 2012
Skagit County Sunset Oct. 16th, 2012

Five new images/articles on the web…

This week has been a whirlwind of activity, 5 articles/images published!

The Sierra Club creates a Daily Ray of Hope each morning, a beautiful image with an inspirational quote…For year-end they created a sort of “Best Of…” for 2012…The image they choose is number 5, from the Pacific Crest Trail in the Pasayten Wilderness. Quite an honor to be included on this!
Sierra Club Daily Ray of Hope
Ascending Rock Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail
Ascending Rock Pass, on the Pacific Crest Trail

Seattle Backpackers Magazine creates articles about trails, gear and adventures, not just here in the Northwest, but across the globe…They recently published a new article about the wondrous North Fork Meadows in North Cascades National Park, with LOTS of images!
Seattle Backpackers Magazine
Mt Logan North Fork Bridge Creek Sunrise
Mount Logan and North Fork Bridge Creek

Ecology.Com is a very widely read and respected portal with all sorts of information and incredible articles…They invited me to share some Photo Essays for their site and here is my most recent contribution about Sahale Glacier Camp.
Sahale Glacier Camp, North Cascades National Park
Sahale Glacier Camp

HDR One, a Web-based publication dedicated to HDR technology (High Dynamic Resolution) asked me to provide a submission for an image that caught their eye…
HDR One Magazine
Goode Mountain from North Fork Bridge Creek
Goode Mountain, North Cascades National Park

And lastly, here is another image featured in the Daily Ray of Hope
Arches National Park, Utah
Arches National Park, Utah