Every so often you witness a scene that inspires you. For me, Monday evening was that moment. While on my way home from the gym I couldn’t help but notice the visual display that was about to unfold. Deep blues and brilliantly white clouds encapsulated the broad strokes of burnt yellows that painted the western skyline. As the minutes passed the more vibrant the colors became.
As I pulled into the driveway I rushed into the house, grabbed my camera bag, tripod and bottled water. My destination was dad’s house. Upon arrival I quickly setup and dialed in the white balance, ISO, shutter speed and aperture values. A few test shots revealed the need to make a few adjustments. Finally satisfied with camera settings and composition the only thing left to do was wait for the sun to tuck below the horizon.
As the sun began to slowly fall behind the distant mountains the colors became more distinct. The yellows transformed into golden tones while the lower clouds took on tones of grey. The blue sky became more saturated and stood in sharp contrast to the higher white clouds. Talk about a spectacular scene!
Eager to take the first shots I checked the viewfinder one last time to verify composition and fired the first series of shots. Pleased with the results I repositioned the tripod, zoomed in a little tighter and took a few more shots until the sunlight had all but vanished.
Typically this is the time in which most photographers will pack up their gear and head home to review photos. Honestly, I was about to do the same until I was rewarded with another treat. The clouds repositioned themselves creating a blanket that stretched across the horizon. The gold tones were replaced with burnt orange, red and magenta tones. There was no way I was letting that scene go. After making a few on the fly adjustments to the camera and recomposing the shot I fired away. As quickly as the scene developed it vanished. I was left standing in awe at what I had just witnessed and hoped like heck I had a couple of keepers in the batch of photos.
After getting home and downloading the photos to my PC I began the process of reviewing the shots. To say I was pleased would be an understatement. While most of the photos required no editing I elected to utilize Adobe Lightroom to remove digital noise associated with shooting at a higher ISO and made a slight adjustment to the white balance. It looks like my research and independent learning is starting to pay off. I’m starting to master the intimidating manual operation of my camera. Check back often to see my progression.