I’m not much of a sunset photographer, as much as I enjoy watching the sun rise and set. What I really like about early morning and late afternoon is the color that’s created as the low sun works it’s way through the atmosphere. Interestingly, my typical photographic approach during these times is to have my back to the setting sun so I can photograph the soft, warm light that wraps itself around everything in front of me.
Iwas in Salt Lake City a few weeks back, working for three days. I had been to Salt Lake City many times but had never been out to see the Great Salt Lake. I had an idea of what the lake looked like, having seen it from above on inbound or outbound flights. I like window seats.
During my visit, I asked a colleague, Nate Young, (http://cruxphoto.wordpress.com) for some location tips and he came up with four options…go to the hillsides around the lake, hike Ensign Peek, drive out to Antelope Island, or go west to the Interstate 80 frontage road. I realized I didn’t have enough time for the mountain, hillsides or Antelope Island so I drove a few miles out to the frontage road. I knew I wanted some shoreline in the photograph and getting to it would be easiest from the road.
Most of my images are in black and white. The original is always taken in color and I then convert to B&W using my editing software, Lightroom. This photograph actually converts very well to black and white but I wanted to show the color, emphasizing the reflection on the water. I love the low light of the setting or rising sun in Texas, or anywhere else where it’s flat. The horizon, without mountains, lets the color hang for a long time and, with a tripod, you can photograph well after the sun has set. The only error I made is waiting a little too long to run out to the lake. The sun sets much earlier as it ducks behind mountains instead of the flat terrain common in many parts of the west, including Texas.
It had snowed in Salt Lake City earlier in the week and as soon as the sun set it became cold quickly. Surprisingly, three of the local ski areas, Alta, Solitude and Snowbird had already opened. I drove back to the city and went for some good Mexican food at the Red Iguana. One of the great perks of traveling is that you expand your list of restaurants to choose from and locales to photograph. I always carry my camera in a backpack with my laptop and while my shoulder gets some stress I frequently discover fabulous places.
It’s always about the light. Photograph the air as Ted Orland instructed me some years ago.