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An Ordinary Sunset Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

13 November 2019

The fog has been stealing the show at sunset this month, which is not how the script was written. But we're ever vigilant hoping to see an ordinary sunset again. When one appears, we run down to the bunker to grab the Nikon D300 and take a few shots.

An Ordinary Sunset. Captured with a Nikon D300 and 18-200mm zoom at 50mm using f4.6, 1/20 second and ISO 400.

That happened on Veterans Day, which we were observing as a national holiday. So this wasn't work. This was fun.

Except shooting a sunset isn't much fun.

On a smartphone it's nearly impossible to get right. You have to underexpose a bit but even then there's no compensating for a wide angle lens.

But even with adequate gear, the problem is that not only is the scene changing almost imperceptibly but your eyes (and brain) are adjusting to that change. You have to look away. But that's when you miss something.

Then, too, sunsets are easily dismissed. "Oh, another pretty sunset. What's for dinner?"

Except around here, we don't take them for granted. Not only did we spend 28 years in a lower flat thinking the sun rose at 11 a.m. and set at 2 p.m. but we have found the study of sunsets rewarding, particularly relevant to dinner.

So when we see a sunset, we get excited.

The gradation of color from the deeper blues above us to the brilliant yellows on the horizon sets the stage. But the clouds are the actors on this stage. And we have seen some spectacular cloud formations over the years.

On Veterans Day, they were wisps that resembled brush strokes. And they didn't move far in the half hour we watched until they disappeared in darkness. This shot was taken at 5:26, about halfway through the sequence.

But clouds aren't the only actors in this drama.

At this time of year, we can often see swarms of bats swirling in the gorgeous light as they feast on their dinner.

And soon there will be lights on the ocean from crab boats starting the season. At the moment, the commercial crab fishing season has been delayed while we wait for whales to migrate through the area.

But one night soon, we'll see lights on the ocean at sunset and, like the bats, we'll be thinking about dinner.

So we keep looking out to sea at sunset.

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