Anatomy of a sunset

Jefferson County Courthouse Cupola

While shooting a sunset at Saracen Lake in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, I noticed the sun was liberally painting the cupola of the Jefferson County Courthouse in golden glow in front of an angry, stormy sky. Shot at 7:52 p.m.

When all else fails, one can do a story on kids, cows, puppies, or sunsets and have a winner most of the time. Following that logic, today is a sunset day. A couple of weeks ago late on a Saturday afternoon, I looked outside and discovered a nice cloud formation in the western sky that should precipitate a great sunset at nearby Saracen Lake. Lucky me to live just minutes away from one of the best places on God’s green earth to watch and/or shoot sunsets.

Sunset over Saracen Lake

The evening of June 19, 2015, I got my first Saracen Lake sunset shots on the card at 7:59:07 p.m. A storm cloud was approaching the lake from the south.

Golden sunset on Saracen Lake

Click the picture for more Saracen sunsets at Corndancer dot-com.

I beat a path to Saracen and not a minute too late, Things were falling into place for a decent sunset. The best sunset sequences are normally no longer than about 15 minutes or so give or take a few standard deviations.

The cool part about sunset shooting is that in that short time-on-target span, most sunsets change like an amoeba with an itching problem. So one sunset will normally yield a bucketful of unique images of the same subject. At this point, we are suggesting that you check our other recent sunset shots and story on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com. We’ll wait here for your certain return.

Sunset over Saracen Lake

True to form within a few minutes, the cloud formation changed as the sun went further down. Shot at 8:04:27 p.m.

Wide view of Saracen Lake Sunset

Just a few minutes later, by widening the view, we see a completely different picture of the sunset. Shot at 8:07:15 p.m.

Zoom in on Saracen Lake sunset

A zoom in on the Saracen Lake sunset reveals dramatic shades of golds and yellows set off by dark blues and blacks three minutes later after the sun has set. Shot at 8:10:37 p.m.

Wide view of Saracen Lake after sunset

As we prepare to leave, we grab a final wide shot showing the storm cloud rolling in. Shot at 8:10:37 p.m.

Even if you do not have a Sarecen Lake like place to watch a sunset, try to grab one occasionally. It’s like seeing a waterfall. You always feel better after watching some of God’s handiwork.

Thanks for looking,

Joe Dempsey

Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

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