Sunset photo of layered pastel clouds, wood pilings, and a smooth water reflection

Say Goodbye Don’t Follow

Sunset photo of layered pastel clouds, wood pilings, and a smooth water reflection
Say Goodbye Don’t Follow — 14mm | f/8 | ISO 100 | 7 Bracketed Exposures

Easily the best scene/lighting/sunset/awesomesauce combo since this and this happened back in early December 2015. Six months, folks. The good stuff doesn’t come around all too often; and that is precisely what makes this hobby worthwhile. The hunt. The chase. The busted failures en route to most welcomed and ofttimes unexpected successes. Landscape photography is a great, albeit fickle beast, you guys.

Ocean County, New Jersey was socked in rain for most of the day on Friday, but Mr. Weather NJ was on top of things. A look at the frontal passage on the water vapor loop let him know the break in the weather would more than likely time up well with sunset. Little did we know it’d be perfect. Serendipity, folks, it’s necessary when you’re photographing nature. We’ve gotta be there, sure; Mother Nature, however, has to bring the goods. That’s how it played out last night amidst the dank air of Cedar Run Dock Road. A multilayered cloud deck began to pull apart, and light poured through as we watched said clouds ignite into an array of pastel beauty. Combine that with the dying wind that brought a glass sheen to the surface of the waterway and you’re cooking with all the right ingredients for a real deal fist-pumper.

Chilling on scene with Jeff and Jon we spent a good 45 minutes in relative silence and maximum awe. The only thing that cut through the silence was a loan boater that came creeping through—no wake zones are important, thanks for going slow—leaving perfect wrinkles upon what was moments before pristinely flat water. The look of the subtle waves left in his wake was mesmerizing. Pink and purple prisms moving eastward as though a table cloth was most gently removed from a grand table with the steady hand of years of precision. Better yet was the jam the young dude on the center console had blasting over the marsh. Whatever that slow jam was, I dig it. In fact, we spent the better part of the night fireside at Ben’s trying to puzzle out the tune. Alas.

Within the quieted moments of sunset fulfillment I’m want to reflect on the ephemeral nature and never ending quest for the perfect sky. These moments come and go. Hold onto them as they arise, drop them as the leave. From there, with a smile on your face move on and work toward the next great moment. There’s a zen in all this infinitely worth seeking even when you’re kicking yourself during the next 10 busts.

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