Sunset LightLake Erie at Sturgeon Point Previously from Sturgeon Point: And Still in White - Back at the Lakeshore for More Moody Photographs - Two Faces of One Lake - Same Lake, Different Beach - Struggle & Magic
This quiet sunset on Lake Erie turned into a detective story for me. It's amazing how puzzling photography can be!
It was a beautiful warm fall evening and the lake was a bit rough compliments of the winds and rain of the previous couple days. But not too bad, just right for my taste to experiment with different exposure times and just having lots of fun with the water.
The sky cleared too much not leaving enough clouds behind to catch the color of the setting sun. Also, I had visited this area of Lake Erie shore several times recently and was looking for something new. Something that would create a whole different photograph that put side by side with another from the same place would not be recognizable as such.
The first photograph you see above was an early one that evening, an establishing frame in my desperate search for something special. I liked the long exposure effect combined with the rocks being lit up like bulbs by the setting sun. And yes, I was able to show this was at sunset with the sunny blast of light on the left but drama was missing. Afterwards, I moved about quite a bit looking for different rocks, different perspectives. I came up empty handed and when the light was pretty much gone I started packing.
iPhone Sunset ActionLake Erie at Sturgeon Point Then, I remembered I did not grab a photo for my Instagram photo stream. I pulled out my phone, positioned it just about where my camera was last but even lower to the ground, waited for an incoming wave, I snapped the second photo you see here.
I will admit, I did not even pay too much attention to what I got. Unfortunately, I felt a bit disappointed and really was in a packing mood already thinking about what was next. It was not the first time I allowed that to happen and I am sure not the last but it is never good and does not help. As I know very well, it is not over until its over!
Once I collected all of my gear in the semi-darkness and make it back to the car, I sat down and checked the photo out. I got both excited and disappointed yet again! This was what I wanted! Something completely different, yet still a sunset photograph. But I only had it on my cell phone, not on the real camera in higher quality.
It just shows how flexible those little devices are. It was so easy to position it pretty much down on the sand of the beach, point it in the right direction while watching a sufficiently bright image on the LCD allowing for easy composition, selecting a focus and exposure point, and clicking as the wave crashed into the rocks near the shore. Don't let the brightness mislead you, it was pretty dark at that point and only because the exposure was set based on the dark water in the foreground did the sky ending up looking this bright. But that is the trick, to make a photograph rather than take one, to make it look like one wants.
The decision was clear. I had to come back another day and attempt to recreate this shot in the camera. But that is always easier in theory, not in practice as I knew from the past and would re-learn on the shores of Lake Erie again. I could not come back the very next day as weather was completely off what I needed to get the strong back-light. But I made it back couple days later.
What happened? Who moved my rocks? I literally spent at lest half an hour crawling on the beach (observed by other sunset lovers who asked me about my crazy activity when I was leaving) trying to find the same angle and just could not. Sounds strange? You bet! I know, but I am not making that up. Those fairly large rocks seemed to have rearranged themselves. Or maybe they were Trolls?
The lake was also too calm for the desired shot. While there were some waves they were about half the size compared to the first night that started this pursuit. While planning is good I had to accept what I was given (Trolls on a quiet lake) and try to turn this evening's photography into something different yet again.
All the while I was crawling in the sand I also suspected that even if I found the lost angle and if a random larger wave found its way to my frame I would still not have gotten my photograph. There just was no light. Heavy low clouds were completely obstructing the horizon and I could barely tell where the lake ended and the sky started.
I got lucky on that front though! As I was losing the last bits of hope seeing that sunset came and went strictly on my watch without any hints of it in the distance, it happened. The heavy clouds broke up quite a bit, an opening was created, the sky turned dramatic, and my camera and I were ready.
Water & Rocks at Sunset, Lake Erie at Sturgeon Point near Buffalo, New York
I will be back, looking for my rocks, my angle, and my sunset action photo!
Enjoy the Beauty that Surrounds You! (#etbtsy)
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