While I am between jobs, I have started to participate in a few photography challenges on Facebook. They are kind of fun and definitely stimulate my creativity. They remind me somewhat of assignments that I used to hand out when I taught photography. For example: photograph yellow. Shoot the assignment. Think outside the box.
Before I continue on with the blog, take a look at this photo. What do you see? No sharing answers or looking at your neighbor’s paper. Or texting the answer.
Last week’s challenge was to submit a picture of the sunset. Letting my procrastination tendency run wild, I finally went out to shoot the sunset on Friday the 13th. By the time I got to my “secret sunset location”, I was too late. (photographers’ always seem to have a “secret location”. I don’t have one, but it sounds cool to say it), The sun had gone below the horizon. That sucker sinks fast.! The results were pretty dismal. This is one of the semi-best of a poor sampling.
On Saturday, I made myself leave an hour earlier, I returned to my double secret sunset site, There was also an extremely interesting cloud formation that I felt might give me the opportunity to get some above average sunset images.
As the above image shows, I got there in plenty of time. I was able to take advantage of the cloud formation with the bright sun shining through.
While scuttling around the park trying to get several shots from different vantage points, there were a couple of song lyrics running through my head. “Waiting for the Sun” is an all too obvious lyric from the Doors song of the same name. The other lyric was from Led Zeppelin’s “Battle of Evermore.”
“Tired eyes on the sunrise, waiting for the eastern glow.”
Yes, I am aware it is talking about “the sunrise”, but I am granting myself a little artistic license in this case.
I also took the opportunity to experiment a bit. I had hoped to get the sunset reflected in the water, but as it turned out, the best sunset shots were on the other side of the canal and the bridge was not close to where I was shooting, meaning I couldn’t easily travel back and forth. I chose to stay on the side that gave me the best view of the sunset.
I came away very satisfied with the overall quality of my sunset series. I was able to track and photograph the sun as it dropped down under the cloud cover to its’ descent below the horizon, creating all those wonderful colors that make up our outstanding Arizona sunsets.
As the original plan of shooting the reflection off of the water was not an option for me, I came up with the idea of photographing the reflection of the sunset off of the windows of a nearby office, just to add a little touch of creativity to the session.
I am pleased with my sunset session. I do not normally shoot landscape photographs, so this was a bit out of my comfort zone. I am glad I took the challenge. I will share more of my favorite images from this session on my Facebook gallery.
NOW LET’S TAKE OUR ATTENTION BACK TO THE FIRST PHOTOGRAPH. HAVE YOU FIGURED IT OUT?
Charles Schulz, the creator of the comic strip Peanuts was a genius. I loved Peanuts growing up and I bought every book of Peanuts compilations that I could. One of my favorites strips had Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus laying on a hill gazing at the clouds. Lucy remarks that shapes could be seen in the clouds. She asks Linus what he sees. Linus replies that he sees the map of the Caribbean, a famous sculptor, and the stoning of Stephen. When Lucy asks Charlie Brown what he sees, he replies, ” I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsie, but I changed my mind.”
My friends and I began using the term “duckies and horsies” as a catch phrase for things that are relatively unimportant or frivolous compared to other life events going on in the universe.
And with that HUGE hint, I hope you saw the same thing I did… a duck!
While waiting for the sun to go down, I did amuse myself by taking several photographs of the many ducks that inhabit the park.
Now this may seem like “duckies and horsies” to you, but I thought it pretty cool of Mother Nature to arrange having a “cloud duck” for me to photograph as well as the live ones.
In the interest of full disclosure, my friends and I always use the term “duckies and piggies” for the last 40 some odd years. I was surprised when I looked up the strip today that the it actually said “ducky and horsie.”
Finally, in the context of larger events, I am sending my prayers and good wishes to the Navy Yard victims and the Colorado flood victims.
To see the actual comic strip by Shulz, click here.
“Waiting for the Sun” words by Jim Morrison/music by the Doors. Copyright Doors Music Company
Battle of Evermore Writer(s): James Patrick, Robert Plant. Copyright: Flames Of Albion Music Inc