Wait…wait…wait

No complaining by Californians about all the rain we’ve been having…although it tends to make photos dreary and cameras wet….

But I’ve told you…and shown you…what storms can do for sunsets.

Here are some further examples. But my point is more specific this time.

The last couple minutes as the sun approaches the horizon often produce spectacular colors and effects. The bright sun causes a camera meter to shut down the exposure…which makes colors much richer and the picture more dramatic than what your eyes see. It’s a cheap thrill!

But wait, don’t walk away yet.

There might be even more to come…the sun and sky might not be done with tonight’s show!

As it gets darker, many cameras are unable to adjust…they try to lighten the scene…making the colors and effects much less dramatic than what you’re seeing.

If that describes your experience, you might study the camera manual (ack!) to see if there is any adjustment you can make. Even cell phones sometimes can be adjusted by stroking the screen up or down.

But wait, there’s more!

Even half an hour after sunset there can be all kinds of color and drama. Your eyes probably won’t see most of it. If your camera can make some serious adjustments, you might get something waaaay interesting! You’ll need a tripod. And you’ll need to experiment…a lot!

It’s complicated, but worth the effort to learn, and worth the effort to find a good spot and a good sunset.

The images below were made one evening within 30 minutes of each other. They’re shot too slow to freeze wave action, but that’s part of the appeal for me. Click on each image to see it full-screen. Even an exquisite phone won’t do them justice.

I’m still learning how to best capture and process images for this circumstance, and hope to share some improved versions in the coming weeks & months!

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