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Sunset over cliffs_

This was one of those times when I was in the right place, but at both the right and the wrong time.  The right time as far as sunset goes: I had the camera on the tripod and was ready for whatever happened.  The wrong time as far as atmospheric conditions went, however:  a thick layer of vog (volcanic fog) made the air especially hazy and downright murky on this particular evening!

What to do?  The adage about “change what you can, accept what you can’t” came to mind.  There wasn’t much to change, however.  I had a polarizer at my disposal, but they are most effective at 90 degrees from the sun, and decrease in effectiveness as you point your lens directly towards or away from it.  And obviously shooting a sunset I was pointing straight towards the sun.  There was no color to be seen anywhere else in the sky anyway.

So that’s when the acceptance part of the equation came in.  I was in an awesome place with a mediocre sunset.  It was what it was.  I would enjoy seeing the details in the shadows that I knew my camera would never pick up.  I would enjoy breathing the fresh air, scrubbed clean by its passage over several thousand miles of open ocean.  I would enjoy feeling the brisk breeze, hearing the murmur of the distant waves, and just soaking in the peace and stillness that surrounded me.  I would be.

And if and when the sun dipped below the thick cloud layer–which it eventually did–I would be ready to take the best image I could of it under the circumstances.  And I would appreciate it for what it was.

Which I did.



  1. I really like that shot but certainly understand your approach and expectations. I’m still learning to appreciate what I get.

    • Thanks Lyle.

      It’s not an awful image, but it’s not a great one either. It’s the best I could do under the circumstances.

      It was a lovely evening in a special place, and I enjoyed being there immensely–hence the title of the post–even though I had initially set the bar higher for the images I would come away with.

      I think a big part of what draws outdoor photographers to do what they do is that photography’s another way to appreciate the outdoors and all that nature has to offer. It’s also, of course, a way to share some of the magic with people who weren’t there.

      RPRT Photo

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