A couple weeks ago a photographer friend was in town from Central Pennsylvania. We visited several photographic hot spots in the area. The sky looked promising for a nice sunset, so we went to Lake Erie Bluffs. When we got there, the horizon was covered with clouds, limiting the color in the sky. I was able to get a shot with a deep red sky and lots of contrast.
A week later the sky was like a painting.
I've been trying for weeks to get a nice shot on the bridge over the Grand River in Fairport Harbor. Some nights I drive by and there is a nice sunset forming, but I don't have my camera. Some nights a group of ducks are swimming in the reflection of the sunset. Last night the ducks were there and the sky was changing colors, and I had my camera. By the time I parked and walked the 200 yards to the bridge, the ducks had floated out of view. But, I got the sunset and reflection.
My first pass at processing the photo, I left the crop wide, catching the silhouette of trees to the left - this version was posted to Facebook. After I looked at it a while, I feel the pictures is much stronger cropped in on the left. Here are the two versions.
Earlier this week I went to one of my favorite parks, Lake Erie Bluffs, to photograph the sunset. I've been adding to my abstract collection. I also took a few standard sunset photos, including a couple with my iPhone.
This photo was shot and edited with my iPhone. I use Camera+ on my phone for most of my iPhonography and editing. The interface is easy and powerful. I posted this picture to Facebook and Instagram. It has received more likes and comments than just about any other photo I've posted. I think it is a fine picture, but not necessarily my best work.
Although it has been a long, cold winter, on the positive side, we've had a lot of wonderful sunsets over Lake Erie. I stopped at Lake Erie Bluffs tonight just after the sun dropped below the horizon. The frozen lake had some great textures and reflections.
The Fairport Harbor Lighthouse at Headlands Beach sits on jetty along the west side of the Grand River. From Fairport Beach the lighthouse is only accessible by boat. From Headlands Beach, you can hike to it. This photo was taken from the walkway south of the lighthouse along the jetty. Using a neutral density filter I was able to smooth the water. The sky didn't have much happening, but after post-processing it looks a bit like a water color.
What's most exciting for me is this location provides a nice composition that isn't shown much. This photo was taken in a scouting hike, looking for new locations. I know what to do now, so I can be better prepared the next time the sky cooperates.
Living a block from Lake Erie can be a treat when the sky is painted so beautifully.