14mm photo of a burning red sunset smoldering over the winter salt marsh with sky reflections in the water.

Red Sky Alight

14mm photo of a burning red sunset smoldering over the winter salt marsh with sky reflections in the water.
Red Sky Alight — 14mm | f/8 | ISO 100 | EXP 1/8

Big week in the 609 for sunset. With no fewer than three Good Ones™, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have burned with content. Sky fires everywhere Buzz and Woody meme dot gif. Of course I missed out on the first two setting my insides aflame searing FOMO blisters with impunity. Life is hardly a burner when you’re but a passive observer.

Yet Friday was my day, except it almost wasn’t. All day skies were light overcast, which suggested an it can go either way outcome. SunsetWX, after a red hot week, was lukewarm over New Jersey fueling the wavering. I continued to work. I continued to monitor.

Four o’clock came and so too decision time. Clouds had thickened and the 4:41 scheduled sunset seemed lost. Well, 4:30 hot power vinyasa it is. It was 4:15 and I was driving to yoga class. Still it gnawed at me this choice was the wrong one. 4:25 and I am exiting onto Route 9 north. I descry the slightest break in the clouds a razor’s edge above the westward horizon. 4:27 at the traffic light I sit—30 seconds from yoga, six minutes from home, and 14 minutes from sunset.

I drive toward home to change into warmer clothes and grab my tripod and camera. 4:35 I am back on the road. 4:41 is nigh and I am 12 minutes from my Dock Road spot. A little math and we sit with a 4:47 ETA for a 4:41 sunset. It was a this point I knew I made a mistake. I even tweeted as much. The clouds seemed thicker than ever and hot power vinyasa already flowing. I would lose out on sunset and exercise. On I drove to Cedar Run Dock Road catching 5 red lights along the way—also known as every single one.

4:43 I turn onto Dock Road heading southeast. In my rear view I notice some light red and pinks beginning to spread along the westward horizon. As I continue to drive it continues to grow. By the time I hit my spot at 4:47 near on half the sky was on fire. The game was afoot. I had chosen poorly in thinking I had chosen poorly.

90% of photography is being there, and this timeline of unextraordinary events encapsulates said maxim well. Nature’s brush was putting in all kinds of work, as it has all week, and I had but to stand there pressing button. A photographers’ work made easy with a red sky alight.

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One response to “Red Sky Alight”

  1. […] it was on November 15. Minutes before I captured this smoldering sky fire to the west, I set tripod and lens about a pastel swoon. Pinks and yellows casting a near […]