Monday, January 17, 2011

Sunset at Klingman's Dome - Practicing Patience

Discipline is a part of every professional photographer's habit. One of my disciplines is to get myself into position at the right time of day, hoping that the lighting will be "magical."  One evening a couple of years ago, I headed up to Clingman's Dome. The sky was mostly cloudy and not promising. But because my time on location is limited, I put myself into place.

I saw a number of other people in cars, photographers I was assuming. Since it was cold and the sky was uninviting, we were just there, waiting, hoping that as the sun traveled below the horizon, that a slit would open in the clouds.  Truthfully, I wasn't hopeful, but discipline had me out with camera and tripod, just in case.

The time for sunset was past, but there it was, the beginnings of an afterglow, lighting the colors a subtle pink.  All of a sudden the photographers in the cars were leaping out, grabbing their equipment and trying to find their spot.

The color started spreading across the sky.

The colors got brighter and brighter, filling the sky with a beautiful crimson glow.  The sidewalk was filled with photographers trying to capture this magic moment.

As I worked the images later, I put multiple exposures together to try to recreate the beauty of that sunset with the amazing sky color and the beautiful ridges of the Great Smokies.

While I am not always rewarded when I wait out a dull looking sky, it is always peaceful and tranquil to be on location.  And, many times, it is worth practicing patience when the sunset or sunrise exceeds your expectations.

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