Since moving to Prescott, we have developed a tradition of going out after dinner to watch the sunset- either from our driveway or getting in the car and driving to a good vantage point. We have become cloud-watchers and predictors of when there will be an especially good sunset display. Last night I thought there was a 50/50 chance of a great one, but I wasn’t convinced that there was enough sky visible- it was overcast in our area of town. But Lonnie had been out and about and pointed out blue sky to the south, so we headed out to find a good view of the Thumb Butte. As we drove in that direction, it was obvious that we had a magnificent sky with great clouds. The photo below was taken before sunset, when a golden glow was just beginning on the Thumb.
The cloud shrouded moon the other night looked more like a spooky harvest moon than the December cold moon we’ve been hearing about.
We’ve been having some beautiful skies lately. These gorgeous clouds caused me to grab my camera (not my phone!) and head out the door to capture them before the light changed. I had a 300mm zoom on, so didn’t get the whole expanse of gorgeousness- just one section.
I can tell I’m recovering well from my surgery, because last night’s view of the moon at sunset drew me outside with my iPhone.
The light, the clouds, the sky! We had a crazy beautiful sunset last night!
It was the golden light that we noticed first. Lonnie was calling me to come out just as I was running around the house looking for my camera (I know, I know I should always keep it one place, but I had been on the phone with Matt and taking pumpkin photos at the same time- I can’t multi-task). When I found it, I ran (hobbled fast) outside and saw the CLOUDS! There was one of our magnificent red sunsets going on behind the house, but it was the golden clouds out front that took my breath away!
Nothing beats Arizona’s Big Sky (sorry, Montana!)!
There’s something due any day
I will know, right away
Soon as it shows
It may come cannonballing down through the sky
Gleam in its eye
Bright as rose
It’s only just out of reach
Down the block, on the beach
Under a tree
I got a feeling there’s a miracle due
Gonna come true, comin’ to me
– from West Side Story
I used to know all the songs from West Side Story by heart as a young teenager, so I guess it’s no surprise that this is the song that popped in my head when I spotted this gigantic cloud looming over the hills as we made our way into Augie’s restaurant last weekend.
Something’s comin’, something good
If I can wait
I don’t know what it is
But it is gonna be great!
I don’t think I will be going anywhere at zero dark thirty to photograph the eclipse, so here is what I saw tonight.
There were clouds on the horizon- plus it was still very light- so I couldn’t see the moon until it climbed just a bit into the sky. As it got a little darker, I took the shots below:
And as I post this, the moon is high in the sky- and beautiful as always!
Here is my current favorite cloud photo. I captured this one through the car window as we were driving to Moab; I think we were already in Utah by this point. It reminds me of a giant flying saucer hovering over the road. Can you tell I was a child in the 1950’s?
This cloud photo was taken while we were getting gas right before we got to Moab. I looked up- and wow!
I must admit I haven’t used my camera since I came back from my last trip to Alaska. I first had a major (for me) attack of allergies, which kept me down and out for a couple weeks- and then last week I had an unexpected oral surgery (an infection in an old root canal). I am really looking forward to getting out again with my camera soon-ish!
In the meantime, I have declared it Cloud Week on my blog! I had never traveled much in the Southwest until we moved here- so I am still constantly amazed by the dramatic cloudscapes. Today’s shot from Moab is fairly tame-but I love the simplicity and colors in this early morning sky.
Early morning along the Colorado River
My friend, Carol, is visiting! After an afternoon at Barnstar Brewery and a delicious barbecue dinner, we all sat outside talking, laughing, and watching birds until after dark. As we got up to go inside, we were surprised to look up and see clouds which had not been visible earlier. Carol and I got our cameras to photograph the moon peeking out through the cloud cover and were surprised to see the colors that appeared in our images. Smoke from the fire? I don’t know.
In this shot, you can see a star in the lower part of the photo.
I didn’t know the moon would be full last night, but when I sat down to wait for the rice to finish cooking for dinner, I could see the moon through the front window. I wish I had been there to see it pop up over the horizon, but I am delighted to have captured the moon at sunset.
Last night I finally got outside to photograph the super moon. At first there was just a glow in the sky- and then the moon rose over the clouds, only to disappear and then reappear in the cloudy sky.
I went out later to check on its progress as it rose in the sky and was almost more fascinated with the smoke-like cloud beside it than I was with the moon itself. For the image below I had to blend two exposures to get the cloud to show next to the moon.
I have photographed this view of the San Francisco Peaks many times- and recently have used both intentional camera movement and multiple exposure for a different look. But really- it is the skies that make the difference.
This shot is of last Friday’s sunrise and is a multiple exposure. It looks like a woven blanket to me.
And here is a more “traditional” photo taken at the same time- not that much different, except for the colors of the mountains. I love how the sun is hitting the snow at the top.
Sometimes you don’t have to wander far from home to find photo subjects.
We are blessed with a view of beautiful Arizona sunrises, which I never get tired of photographing. Lonnie and I were both out there as the sky shifted from red and pink to orange and finally blue this morning.
We have just returned from a wonderful Thanksgiving visit with our daughter’s family in Alaska- our first trip there in winter (I know it is technically fall, but it was WINTER there!). There was no snow, but the ground and many of the trees were covered with icy hoar frost. Daylight was limited, and the weather averaged in the low teens. Brrrr!
I was hoping to see the northern lights, but Caitlin had warned me that most nights had cloud covered skies, which blocked the view. I think it was the second morning we were there that she woke us up to tell us that she could see the aurora from the front deck. We staggered sleepily outside (it was not really that early- 7 a.m.- but it was dark, of course), and, after a few minutes of allowing our eyes to be accustomed to the darkness, we were treated to the sight of a faint aurora dancing around the dark skies. I grabbed my camera and set up the tripod for a long exposure. I hadn’t prepared for this and didn’t think anything was showing up on the LCD monitor. Caitlin offered to drive us a few miles down the road toward the state park, where she thought we would be able to see more. We pulled over in a likely spot, but alas, we could only see stars. I set up the tripod anyway and took three 15 second exposures anyway, stopping when I kept hearing rustling in the bushes. It wasn’t until I looked at the images on the computer that I realized that there was indeed a very small part of the aurora visible. My images were underexposed at 15 seconds- perhaps I needed to increase ISO or use a longer exposure. Next time, I will be more prepared!
Below is my favorite view, although the aurora is mini. This was taken from a pullout on the road.
I never get tired of sunrise and sunset shots. I think this in-camera multiple of the sky looks like folds.
We have just returned from a quick trip to Southern California to visit our son. We walked on the beach with him at sunset, and I grabbed this quick shot when I saw silhouettes against the orange sky. I think the fellow on the far right might be taking a selfie!
Such a fun adventure we had yesterday in Sedona! We drove over in the middle of the afternoon and had a great time wandering around and checking out the galleries and shops at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. We enjoyed a fabulous dinner at El Rincon, where, to the amusement of our waitress, I couldn’t resist photographing the reflection of the little white lights on the overhead umbrella on my spoon. Midway through dinner, the flamenco guitar music began!
During dinner, Lonnie was googling best places for sunset photography in Sedona, so we ended up on an overlook on Airport Road. The wind had kicked up, and it was threatening rain, making for dramatic clouds.
After we walked across the road and began setting up, I realized I didn’t have my cable release, so I walked back to the car and lugged my whole camera bag back across the road to where my tripod was set up. Lonnie and Carol were busy photographing the scene while I got set up again. What I didn’t realize was that they were photographing a tornado forming! I continued taking photos of the rocks, oblivious to what they were seeing. Fortunately, I have a few shots at the end of the event- although I didn’t know what I was shooting. It wasn’t until we got home and they started talking about the tornado, that I realized what I had missed! You can check out Carol’s magnificent twister photos at http://infocusdaily.com
My friend, the intrepid photographer, Carol, is here visiting- so of course we had to photograph last night’s super moon. The moon kind of took us by surprise as we were out in the driveway photographing the sunset- and it quickly rose up into the clouds before I could even get my camera on the tripod. These photos won’t win any prizes, but I enjoyed seeing the huge moon over my neighborhood. Next time, maybe I’ll take photos from a more picturesque spot!