Sunset Clouds and Reflections

I nearly missed this brilliant display last night. I managed to run out, nab these few shots and then the colors were already beginning to fade. While the colors were at their peak, they were just stunningly vivid. If I hadn’t looked outside when I did, I would have completely missed it.

Water Reflection of Orangey Pink Clouds At Sunset
Water Reflection of Orangey Pink Clouds At Sunset
Orangey Pink Clouds At Sunset
Orangey Pink Clouds At Sunset
Water Reflection of Orangey Pink Clouds At Sunset
Water Reflection of Orangey Pink Clouds At Sunset

Dusty Sunset

The last couple of days we’ve had some amazing sunsets thanks in part to the Saharan dust in the air.

Yesterday in particular. All day you could see the haze in the air, so I knew if the majority of the clouds dispersed, we would have another beautiful one. I was not disappointed in the least. Obviously, because I couldn’t just choose one to share today.

I was out taking photos for about an hour and took over a hundred photos, most of them turning out really wonderful with only slight differences between each image, hence the difficulty in deciding which ones to share.

Saharan Dust Sunset
Saharan Dust Sunset

I tested out a new sunset spot and, for the most part, I really like it because I can get the whole sky. I’m not a huge fan of the power lines, but I’m not going to be too picky.

Saharan Dust Sunset
Saharan Dust Sunset

When the sun got to right at the horizon line, it started to get this awesome ombre look.

Saharan Dust Sunset
Saharan Dust Sunset
Saharan Dust Sunset
Saharan Dust Sunset

Some of my favorite skies are the ones that look almost like they were painted. There were a couple of points through this sunset that the sky definitely came close last night.

Saharan Dust Sunset
Saharan Dust Sunset
Saharan Dust Sunset
Saharan Dust Sunset
Saharan Dust Sunset
Saharan Dust Sunset

End Of The Day

Dance picture day yesterday turned into “take all the pictures” day.

I always take photos of BG in her costumes at home, or as much as I can without making her change a billion times. For the first time, she allowed me to also take some outside the studio where they have their dancer silhouette on the wall. It is the standard parent kind of shot, but she’s never let me get one before, so I was really excited to finally be able to.

And, DAMN!! Those are some of the best photos I’ve take of her. I’m talking, a couple of them at least, look like the kind of shots you’d see on a magazine cover. It makes me so damn tempted to break my “no photos of the kids” rule here on my blog just to share it.

It helps that two of the costumes in those photos are some of my favorite ever, the top one being the costume for opening tap this year. It is this phenomenal get up and she absolutely rocks the hell out of it. I cannot get over how stunning she looks in it. He teacher even stole the image (with permission) and posted it on the studio’s page because it is so classic for the look and feel they try to get with that performance.

Since I was already deep into photo mode, I was keeping a close eye on the weather and lighting as I still had another set of photos MC wanted me to take to include in his “senior photo package” we’ve been working on. Shockingly, everything came together and we had a gorgeous evening with a long golden hour that was absolutely perfect.

I dragged both him and BG out because I also wanted to try and get a good one of the two of them together and we spent probably an hour taking photos. I took nearly 400 pictures in all yesterday (and no, they weren’t all good, not by a long shot) and, I think, managed to finish up the pictures that MC wanted. Hopefully. I did also manage to get a couple of really good ones of the two of them together so I have some new photos for my family photo walls.

Of course, because I was already there and the sky was gorgeous, I made them wait just a little longer after we were done before we could go home so I could grab a couple of sunset shots as well.

MC made it abundantly clear that he would prefer that if I had my camera nearby that someone else should be in the driver’s seat of the car because I spend as much time trying to see what’s going on with the sky as I do the road. He was teasing, but… he also isn’t entirely wrong. It is such a joy to drive with two newish driving teenagers in the car pointing out every single thing you do that isn’t strictly by the book.

In all, it was a great day. BG got her dance photos out of the way (I nailed the car dressing room perfectly). I was able to finish up with MC’s photos and got a few fun ones of my own along the way.

Of course, it was also a typical roulette wheel of “What New Random Loop Is Going To Get Thrown At You Today” kind of day as well because our mayor announced a mandatory mask requirement for all indoor public spaces (with a few strict exceptions) that is going to last for at least the next couple of weeks. This covers the time frame for recital, so I have zero clue how the studio is going to work that one out as it includes the dancers on stage.

I’m in “wait and see” mode again, but I still have to make sure she has everything that she needs, including new tights and a few extra small things. It is so odd waiting on things I ordered knowing there is a high chance they won’t be used, at least not this year. We may hear more today when she goes to the studio for her last ballet class before recital.

At least I have pictures!

Cool Mistake

I’ve mentioned before that some of the coolest things I’ve ever created started as a mistake. This may be one of them.

I took this while we were driving the other day. The sun was doing this peekaboo thing from behind the clouds, but there was still a sort of thin layer in front, so it was being filtered, creating this amazing effect. I attempted to get a shot of it, but it was still too bright and blew out my shot.

Because I was in a moving car, I had to adjust quickly or miss the shot. In going that fast, I pushed the levels just a bit too far to the dark end of the scale, but the results are amazing. It really wasn’t that dark, but I love how much of an eerie feel these photos ended up with. Especially with the stark, black silhouette of the trees.

I have another one or two I’ll share over the next couple of days.

Sunset Geese

It is bitterly cold today. Funny, it is also sunny for the first time in a while. The cold and the bit of snow we got late yesterday caused school to cancel today. The timing is such that it gives my kids a 5 day weekend because there were in service days planned for tomorrow and Monday.

I would say that with the sun, it is a perfect day to get out and get pictures, but we are looking at low single digit temps and sub-zero wind chills (the biggest reason why schools closed). I really don’t like the snow enough to freeze bits of myself right off my body, so I’m just going to sit here in my chair and enjoy the snow on the ground against a sunny, blue sky day through the window while enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee, burrowed under my blankets.

If there wasn’t a breeze, I’d risk it to go play with bubbles, but not only is that wind COLD, it makes it impossible to do bubbles. Almost always seems to work that way. Finally get temps low enough and sun, but it always comes with that wind.

Dreaming Of Warmer Days

I’m digging deep for this one and is why it isn’t nearly the quality I usually post. This is from a 2007 Florida vacation. Right now, I’d give a lot to be on a beach with warm temps. Not just because I wouldn’t feel like I’m constantly freezing, but because it SHOULD also mean that I’m not coughing anymore. Even with meds, that crap isn’t budging. Are you as sick of hearing me whine about my cough as I am of coughing?

It Started With A Rainbow

I was less than 5 minutes from walking out the door to take BG to her assistant class when I glanced out the back window and saw this amazingly bright rainbow. I was shocked because it wasn’t raining and hadn’t been, but the clouds managed to toss enough moisture in the air to create one anyway.

Of course I grabbed my camera, which was the reminder I needed to take it with me, just in case. I am so glad I did (and I really need to remember to take it with me EVERY time as I’m not going to always get a rainbow smacking me upside the head as a reminder).

Red Tinged Sunset Clouds
Red Tinged Sunset Clouds

The start of the sunset tossed some interesting clouds my way, but that isn’t what was so stunning about last night’s sky. It was this phenomenal ombre look to the sky itself after the sun dropped below the horizon.

Ombre Sky After Sunset
Ombre Sky After Sunset

It was such an extreme fade that it made it really difficult to get it to actually register correctly on the camera. Closer to the horizon on one setting would get blown out too bright and another setting would make the darker bluish purple get too dark, so it was fun trying to get it balanced just right for both ends of the spectrum.

Ombre Sky After Sunset
Ombre Sky After Sunset

I think I managed to capture it enough to be worth sharing, though they still aren’t nearly as stunning as what I saw sitting in my car last night. Sitting there with my window down and my camera hanging out the window had to have been slightly concerning for anyone in the offices or restaurant nearby. I kind of looked a bit like a PI stalking some cheating spouse or something. Or, I would have if I’d had my big zoom lens attached instead of my smaller wide angle lens. Oh, well. The people in those business will probably be seeing lots of that over the next several months.

Stunning Striped Sunset

Last night’s sunset has convinced me I need to keep my camera bag with me when I take BG to dance. The entire sky started out in these amazing orange/gold stripes across a vibrantly blue sky when we were leaving the studio.

Blue, Red, Pink, and Orange Striped Sunset
Blue, Red, Pink, and Orange Striped Sunset

I watched those colors shift and darken over the 20 minute drive home and would have pulled over and pissed off other drivers just to get a chance to take a shot of what I was seeing. I was so worried I’d lose all color by the time I got home, but lucked out in getting some of the most brilliant colors of the night, though in a really shitty location, so I didn’t get a good wide shot of the whole sky.

Blue, Red, Pink, and Orange Striped Sunset
Blue, Red, Pink, and Orange Striped Sunset

As soon as I put my car in park, I ran in and grabbed my camera. I managed to get a few good shots from the front of my house.

Blue, Red, Pink, and Orange Striped Sunset
Blue, Red, Pink, and Orange Striped Sunset

I will now have my camera bag with me when I take her to dance. At least the early classes anyway.

First Wisconsin Sunset

The very first night we got into Door County, we took enough time to get checked in to where we were staying and drop off our bags before we headed right back out even though we’d been in the car for well over 11 hours. We wanted to scout out a few areas before the next day and we needed to hunt down some place to eat.

The first place I wanted to check out was a place to get a good view of the sunset that I’d found on Google maps. It looked to be the ideal spot.

Late Afternoon Lake Michigan from Door County
Late Afternoon Lake Michigan from Door County

I especially loved the small pool of water with only a small strip of shore between it and the lake. When we checked the spot out, only 1 person was there with their dog. Little did we know that everyone else on the peninsula also thought it was the ideal sunset viewing spot. When we came back after doing a bit more scouting, it was packed with people. Since it wasn’t an official park, there wasn’t any parking and the road just dead ended at the shore, so everyone was parked along this narrow twisty piece with a really steep incline.

Clouded Sunset on Lake Michigan
Clouded Sunset on Lake Michigan

There were very few spots to stand to get pictures as the shore was lined with people in chairs and sitting on the rocks. I was really thankful that the area right in front of the little pool was open. I did have to avoid a couple of heads and dogs trying to photobomb me, but I managed to get several awesome shots.

Sunset Clouds Reflectio
Sunset Clouds Reflectio
Clouded Sunset Sky on Lake Michigan
Clouded Sunset Sky on Lake Michigan
Dead Tree In Water At Sunset Lake Michigan
Dead Tree In Water At Sunset Lake Michigan
Clouded Sunset on Lake Michigan
Clouded Sunset on Lake Michigan

We only stayed until the sun dropped below the cloud line before we left. We were exhausted from the drive and wanted a chance to just go chill out for a while without being surrounded by people and gnats. The clouds gave us a stunning sunset, but made it impossible for us to get a good night for star viewing so we didn’t even attempt it that first night.

Clouded Sunset on Lake Michigan
Clouded Sunset on Lake Michigan

Last Sunset, Lake Michigan From Wisconsin

Next to the goals of seeing the stars and getting some hiking done, I really wanted the opportunity to get some awesome sunset and sunrise pictures. We were going to be in an ideal place to do this, so I wanted to take every chance I could. Turns out, there is way more coastline that is enclosed in trees than there is open access, so viewing spots were limited for the public. We found this spot on our first full day there. It wasn’t a waterline spot, but there was enough room to land a spot to take pictures. Not much, but enough because it was also popular, like all public viewing areas are.

Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan
Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan

I was worried a bit that it wasn’t going to be an “interesting” sunset since there weren’t any clouds, but the sky still put on an amazing show of color and the water threw a lot of that right back in stunning reflections.

Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan
Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan

At one point, I had turned to ask Hubby something as he was standing behind me and I just could not resist this creative shot. It inspired a few others later in the trip, but this is probably my favorite. If you look closely, you can see the number of people that were at the edge of the lookout.

Sunrise Reflection In Sunglasses
Sunrise Reflection In Sunglasses

I kept taking pictures until the sun dropped below the horizon. I have so many I could probably come close to putting together a sunset video with all the frames.

Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan
Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan
Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan
Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan
Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan
Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan

After that final speck went below the waterline, the sky reminded me of some of the fill options in early graphics programs I’ve worked with (really early Corel Draw, I think). There was so much color in the sky. It isn’t something I normally get to see at home with all the trees and obstacles in the way, so I was thrilled to be able to get these.

Rainbow Sky After Sunset On Lake Michigan
Rainbow Sky After Sunset On Lake Michigan