A break

sunset breaking through trees at Jordan lake
After three days of near-solid rain, including a horrendous downpour while we were getting dinner last night, the sky suddenly cleared, mostly, and I went down to Jordan Lake out of curiosity, mainly to see how much higher the water level was. Surprisingly, it barely appeared higher at all, so either they kicked out the stops down at the dam end, or most of the water in the area hadn’t yet drained to the lake – perhaps both. But while there, I shot a few frames of opportunity. Above, I played with the angles to get the sun peeking past the tree, and for one frame, I slowly leaned out until the sun just made it past the trunk – it was weird because the shadow line was so distinct, my left eye was catching the light before it was appearing to my right eye through the viewfinder.

Below, a great blue heron (Ardea herodias herodias) took a prominent perch.

great blue heron Ardea herodias herodias perched atop broken dead trunk
These trunks, by the way, are the same ones that opened this post exactly a year ago, but this is the first time that I’ve ever seen a heron chose to perch there. I’m glad I caught this when I did, because it didn’t last long.

Sunset actually turned out halfway decent – not fabulous, but better than normal.

multi-layered clouds catching post-sunset light
The post-storm clouds, the patches of humid fog rising from the trees in places, and the low light angle made a complicated mix of colors while there really wasn’t much red at all, but hey, it’s the best I’ve seen in a while. A little later on as the details started to fade, i did a small experiment with the foreground and flash.

buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis in foreground of sunset colors over Jordan Lake
Despite dropping the flash exposure down a bit, the buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) was still a little too bright, so I burned it a bit darker in GIMP. This was shot blind, by the way, roughly aiming the camera held out at arm’s length without framing through the viewfinder. As you might imagine, this is hit-or-miss, but I’m getting better at it.

And finally, a very weird-looking curiosity.

post-sunset clouds over Jordan Lake with specific lighting
I had the camera set for increased contrast and saturation, which unfortunately was too much for this frame, so I adjusted it back down in post. This was exactly how the cloud looked, only a portion of it catching the sun behind me (well below the horizon now) while the rest remained in shade. I get the irresistible impression of a long exposure with lightning illuminating the cloud from within, because I have plenty of images like that, but no, this is just what you could see from the lakeshore.

I know I’ve been to Jordan Lake too much, and have been trying to expand to other places, but scheduling and weather have not been supportive of that. It’ll change shortly.

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