crepuscular rays at sunset
Slow, slow, slow; that’s what it’s been, though there’s an outing scheduled for today that may yield more pics. Right now, we’re going to go back a few days at least.

anticrepuscular rays at same sunsetThe general rule for me is, if I have the time and go out waiting for the sunset, the results are incredibly lackluster, but if the conditions are stunning, I’m doing something else. This is one example, where the sky did some great things but I was in the middle of urban blight and couldn’t work a foreground interest – at least this time I had a camera with me. Above is the view looking towards the disappearing sun, showing off some nice and dynamic crepuscular rays – well, kinda. I think that actually applies to the beams of light that make it through breaks in the clouds, and not the shadows caused by cloud peaks, but whatever; same difference. While at right, we see some anti-crepuscular rays/shadows, which are the exact same thing but in the opposite direction. Both of them appear to converge towards a common point – for crepuscular rays that would be the sun, while for anti-crepuscular rays it would be the anti-solar point, or the position directly opposite the sun. Measured by compass bearing from any given point on the surface, anyway. The point actually opposite the sun would be 180° around the Earth’s orbital disc I suppose…

Anyway, it’s an illustration that the rays are actually parallel, and only appear to be diverging/converging because of the distances involved and our vantage point, but it admittedly is pretty cool to trace the shadows up and overhead and watch them expand and contract, in a manner. Too bad I wasn’t anyplace to make a better job of it.

Then, a few evenings back, the thunderstorms rolled in – lots of them. I went out once, but the rain started almost immediately and chased me back in. A couple hours later another round of ominous rumblings sent me back out to check the sky, and I could see the flashes approaching, so I fetched the tripod and set up for a session. Alas, the clouds were thick and low, so the only thing that happened was some inner-cloud illumination, most of which was too weak to overcome the ambient light reflected from the nearby cities during the long exposures. The best is below – not bad cloud detail, but nothing to write a blog post about.

nighttime clouds illuminated by hidden lightning
It started raining during the second session, too, and I dug out the disposable poncho from the camera bag as I started back home. But by the time I struggled the ultra-thin plastic over my already-damp skin, the rain stopped, so I returned to my spot and just used the poncho to cover the camera while staying put through the next shower.

The rain continued, off and on, summer shower to deluge, for the next day, but abruptly by sunset the sky had cleared quite a bit and some colors were already evident, so I returned to my vantage on the nearby pond.

post-storm sunset on pond
The colors weren’t too shabby, if lacking a little in the reds, but they also demonstrated the typical trait of colorful sunsets: the conditions alter rapidly, deceptively so. It may not look like anything is changing, but within a minute you can have an entirely different view. I managed to capture a good range of light from the sky as well as a hint of the vapor rising off of the pond, so I’m good.

rain dripping from branch onto sunset reflections
There wasn’t a lot of foreground interest to work with here either – just the typical branches and leaves that I photograph too much of, really, but I did what I could.

big ripple cutting across scene
This one shows evidence of something that I was a little curious about. I spooked a trio of green herons that have been living around the pond and they sought a different tree to shelter in for the night, pretty close to the apparent source of a very distinct ripple that crossed the corner of the pond towards where I stood. The ripple was high enough to indicate that something big had disturbed the water, but I never heard a splash or commotion and couldn’t imagine what was capable of producing something that size. I can only surmise a large fish, given that any turtles would have long previously left any basking spots, but this was too much surface disturbance for most fish. Maybe we have a pond monster…

This last one, however, is my favorite, just for the range of light throughout. I’ve done better sunset and sunrise images, but this was sufficient to pull me out of an unproductive rut. Hopefully I can keep the momentum going.

wide range of light levels in sunset over pond