Sunset Vignettes

During the summer months it is rare that I go out to photograph sunrises and sunsets. With lots of activity on the lake and with docks and boatlifts obscuring the view of the shoreline capturing the natural beauty of the lake is made a few degrees more difficult. As a result my summer photography tends to focus on smaller scenes and details rather than larger scenes and nature’s light shows.

However at the end of June there were several nights that I was on the dock photographing the sunset but rather than trying to capture the lake and sky in a single photograph I used a telephoto lens and captured the lake and sky separately. By doing this I am better able to capture and share the beauty and tranquility of the sunset that I am experiencing.

On these evenings I was drawn out of the house and onto the dock by the clouds overhead that were beginning to be illuminated by the setting sun. With multiple layers and types of clouds you have clouds that are lit up by the sun in different ways, with a variety of colors, shadows and textures.

Those evenings I spent much of my time watching the undulating surface of the lake, something I do every time I am near water, and how it was reflecting the now fading colors of the sunset. Using a shutter speed that is long enough that the reflections change during the exposure but not so long that the photograph becomes a blurry mess, results in photographs that take on the appearance of watercolor painting.

All of these photographs were from a single evening with the photographs of the water being three shots taken in succession, with my camera taking the shots as fast as it could.

-EAK, August 2014