Tag : sunset

14 Nov 2016

Super moon in Charleston

While on my way back to N.J. after two art shows in Florida, I made a side trip to Charleston, S.C., to photograph the “super moon” tonight. The full moon won’t be this close to the earth until 2034, which means it looks larger than normal.

I usually like to shoot the full moon on the night before the actual full moon, it rises about an hour earlier, so there is still light in the foreground. But I had an art show yesterday and couldn’t get out to shoot, so my only choice was tonight.

I used a program called Photographer’s Ephemerist to pre-determine where the moon would rise behind a large fishing pier on Folly Beach. It blows my mind that I can sit at my computer or use the app on my iPhone and know where I need to be to line up the rising moon and the pier.

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08 Nov 2016

Watching the color float past on a Florida beach

I was out on a beach tonight in Jupiter, Florida, as the sun went down and color came into the sky. The moon was bright and clouds were blowing past as surf was crashing on the sand.

When I looked south, there was a colorful glow on the horizon. I love what happens when clouds and waves are moving during a long exposure, so I used a 30 second exposure so the movement would be recorded as a blur.

05 Nov 2016

Hanging out at Pensacola’s pier

Pensacola PierWhile doing the art show in Pensacola, FL, I’m getting lots of requests for local photos. Since this is the first time I’ve been in Pensacola, I don’t have anything to show them so I went to the beach after the show tonight to catch sunset and see what was going on around the pier.

There was some great color in the sky after the sun went down, as I waded in the edge of the surf, I was able to get the pier in the foreground and the sky blazing behind it.

After the color faded a bit I went under the pier but I didn’t want the typical shot of the silhouetted pier and smooth water. I brought a flashlight with me to try some light painting. I did a 30 second exposure and used the flashlight to illuminate the pier and give me a different effect.

Under Pensacola's Pier

10 Oct 2016

Making an island glow

Glowing islandAt Chittenden Reservoir in Vermont there is a pretty little island about 300 yards off shore. It is a favorite  place for photographers and I’ve photographed it on many occasions at different times of day and different seasons. I decided to try it at night and use a large flashlight to illuminate the island using a technique called light painting, where you pass the light over the subject many times during a long exposure, I usually do 30 seconds.  So tonight I started about 30 minutes after the sun went down and shot for the next hour. There was only a slight breeze which gave me the nice reflection on the water. Then I was lucky to have a shooting star which gave me a beautiful final touch. This is one exposure with only minor adjustments in Lightroom. As the sky got darker I needed to bump my ISO up to 400 and I was shooting at f/5.6.

01 Aug 2015

Enjoying the LBI sunset tradition

lbi sunsetThis weekend I’m doing an art show on New Jersey’s Long Beach Island and am fortunate to stay with my good friends Marilyn Dillon and Brian Horton. They’ve had a home on LBI for many years, although they took a pretty good wallop by Hurricane Sandy. They had 40” of salt water in the house, which, of course, destroyed pretty much everything. They have rebuilt the house and it looks great.

Each night they and their neighbors stroll down to the end of their street and watch the sun set. It is a great tradition and they have good time talking to everyone. Tonight’s sunset was pretty nice, although everyone said “You should have been here last night.” I’ve heard that before and I’m sure it was great, but it was good fun to share this one with them.

21 Aug 2014

A beautiful end to the day in British Columbia

The people of Cortes Island live close to nature and appreciate the beauty that surrounds them. They are big into recycling and reusing, to the point that they have a Free Store at the recycling center that is staffed by volunteers. If you don’t need something, drop it off and it will be sorted and somebody else can take it for free. It is a great idea but I think it takes a special place for it to work.

We had a great dinner outside at Squirrel Cove tonight overlooking the cove as the sun got low. It was a beautiful scene as boats floated in the cove surrounded by mountains. After dinner we went to the west side of the island for sunset. The sun was just dropping as we got there and I was able to catch it as it set behind some boats. The color was good right after sunset but I knew it would get better if waited another 30-45 minutes and we weren’t disappointed. Reds, blues and pinks combined to make the sky glow and the water come to life. A beautiful end to the day.

Click to see my British Columbia photo gallery from the trip.


02 Nov 2013

The science of being in the right place at the right time

20131102-LEF_4189Walter and I have a rather scientific formula developed for making sure we are in the right locations at the right time. We start heading for one place based on the weather forecast and if the weather doesn’t look like predicted, we take off for some place else. Sitting in the hotel near Portland last night, seeing the 100% chance of rain forecasts for most of Oregon, Walter was mapping how long it would take to get anywhere from Redwoods National Park in California (5 hours+) to Idaho (even longer) to Crater Lake (4 hours) to Mt. Rainer in Washington state. None of those made any sense since we had to be back to the Portland airport tomorrow evening.

So we planned on working the rain by going to waterfalls in the central part of the state. As we drove south, the sky was beautiful and clear so we veered off and headed for the coast again. I’ve heard people in many places say if you don’t like the weather wait 10 minutes and it will change. Oregon in November must be where that saying originated. At one point while shooting on the coast, I was shooting crashing waves in pure sunshine and went back to the car to grab a cable release and by the time I made the five minute walk, rain and hail pelted down. It wouldn’t have been that bad, but I left a camera and 70-200mm lens on my tripod down by the rocks and it was getting soaked. I scrambled back down the hill and when I got to my dripping camera the sun came back out and the rain was gone. I dried everything off and it works fine but I didn’t leave anything uncovered again.

The weather on the coast was great, other than the quick hailstorm, and we started by getting to Thor’s Well at high tide. Thor’s Well is a unique hole in the coastal rocks where the surf surges into the hole at high tide and spurts out at low. The surf today was especially rough and there were several nearby places where the water would shoot into the air as the waves crashed into the shore. We watched as large waves crashed over where we needed to be standing to shoot Thor’s Well and quickly realized today wasn’t the right day, we’d get our clothes wet at best, which wasn’t a big problem, but we had a very good possibility of drenching our camera or getting washed out to sea. We shot the crashing waves for a while and made another last minute decision and go farther south to the dunes while the tide went out and come back for the last light of the day.

The dunes made for some nice photos and when we got back to Thor’s Well the water wasn’t flowing in, only shooting out. There were still plenty of great shots to be had, just not the classic photo of Thor sucking the water into the earth.


19 May 2013

Lots of crabs at Cape May photo workshop

This weekend was my workshop in Cape May. The weather started off great but turned cold and rainy by Saturday night. The group didn’t seem to care as we were out making photos in the rain of the lighthouse after sunset during the blue hour. I always like being out in the rain and shooting and the beacon from the lighthouse looked cool blasting through the rain.

Cape May is famous for birds and Victorian architecture. The shorebirds are late arriving this year, they flock to the Delaware Bay as horse shoe crabs come ashore in May to lay millions of eggs. The crabs were a little late this year too, but they were still there in big numbers. They are an amazing thing to watch and photograph.

It was a great workshop and everybody made some great photos.

09 Sep 2012

Waiting for the color to fill the sky

The weather today was one of the top five of the year. It just doesn’t get any better than clear and 72 degrees. Those big puffy cumulus clouds just floated around the sky.

I knew the clouds would make a nice picture at dusk, so I headed to the Raritan River in Bridgewater, N.J. As the sun went down the clouds got more dramatic, orange highlighted the white clouds for a few minutes and then the sun faded over the horizon.


02 Jul 2012

Moonrise over Somerville

Tommorow will be a full moon, but tonight it looks great.

One of the most famous photos by Ansel Adams is Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico from 1941. Ever since photographers have tried to shoot a better moonrise picture but it still hasn’t been done. I gave it a shot tonight but somehow the back side of a building in Somerville, NJ, doesn’t compare to the landscape in New Mexico. But still, I like the color and warmth of the photo.

There are two moon facts that I know: a full moon always rises at sunset, and when photographing the moon, a proper exposure is the same as on earth at noon. I have found that the day before a full moon can be the best day to shoot the moon since the moon rises about an hour before sunset and there is still some light on buildings and things while a nearly full moon is visible. It makes it easier to balance the exposure of the foreground and the moon, so the moon isn’t just a white blob.

27 Jun 2012

Looking for herons and getting swallowed

A barn swallow looks like it is trying to stare me down.

Today was a top 10 weather day of the year, so I headed to the Raritan River hoping to find a heron or two. I went to a county park that is mainly a flood zone, there are a couple of soccer fields mowed among the tall grasses and a path to the river. I grabbed a bunch of gear and hiked over to the river.

Right away I saw a heron about 150 yards downstream. Wow, my lucky day, perfect weather and a beautiful bird right away. I needed to get much closer and rather than walk along the river and scare it away, I headed away from the river and into the tall grass, which was over my head. As I started walking, I could hear voices but there weren’t any other people in this part of the park.

A robin chirps as it looks for worms.

I walked a ways and then I saw the noise was coming from a fishing boat floating down the river. My luck ran out and the heron was gone by the time I got back to the river’s edge. I decided to sit along the river and see if the heron would come back, they frequently hang out in the same place day after day. I sat pretty still for over an hour but no heron or anything else.

Some days I get pretty mad when it doesn’t look like I’m going to get a shot. But the day was so perfect I decided it really didn’t matter if I got a picture or not, I would just enjoy what was there. As the sun was starting to get low, I hiked back to my Jeep.

I put my gear away and noticed some swallows, red-wing blackbirds, starlings and robins in a mowed area near the parking lot. So I watched them for a minute and they were pretty animated. I moved my Jeep so I could shoot out the window along a split-rail fence and into the grassy area. I shot some birds hopping and flying around and then a barn swallow landed on the fence right in front of my Jeep. Of course, I couldn’t shoot out the open window so I had to shoot through the windshield, which I hate doing. The windshield can distort the image and do some strange reflections. But I didn’t have any choice, the bird was nice and close and it was preening and acting a liitle goofy. It wasn’t the shot I thought I’d get, but I like it.

05 Jun 2012

Stormy skies make for dramatic photos

Stormy skies and bright sunlight make a strong contrast.


I had to pick my wife up at Newark airport tonight. First I had a meeting that was over by 7 p.m., so I had about an hour to kill. I was too far to go home so I headed over to a county park for a walk and see what pictures I might make.

Natirar isn’t your average public park, it is 400 acres that was formerly owned by the king of Morocco. The main building on the property is a brick forty-room Tudor-style mansion that was built by Walter Graeme Ladd and his wife, Catherine (“Kate”) Everit Macy Ladd (think big department store) in 1912. Another building on the property had been leased by Richard Branson (think airlines, records, adventures) and is now a high-end restaurant.

The rest of the estate has hiking paths through rolling hills, open fields and along the Raritan River.

I started hiking up a trail to a field where I hadn’t been before. I was feeling lazy and even though I had my photography gear in the Jeep, I took only my iPhone. I’m not big on iPhone photography but I am a huge believer the best camera there is is the one I have with me.

The evening was one of those where sunshine and storm clouds battled for supremacy of the sky. Those are the lighting conditions I love, sunshine hitting my subject with dark skies in the background. The light creates drama, contrast and color saturation that can’t be beat. I’d much rather be outside shooting on a stormy day than a blue sky without a cloud. The light is just better and possibility of dramatic sunsets. Wide open clear skies can be downright boring if you are including the sky in the photo.

15 Oct 2011

Two horses bask in the morning sun.


The fall foliage season is strange this year in Vermont. Some areas had two peaks of color, some none. I drove from Woodstock to Addison looking for color along the way. The leaves are down in Killington but just peaking in the Castleton area only 20 miles away, but a much lower elevation. But the weather wasn’t very good, lots of spots of rain.

Earlier in South Woodstock I came across this little barn with a couple of horses out front. I like the way the sun came across the horses and the barn. The satellite dish was an extra touch.

19 Mar 2011

There’s still snow in Vermont

A red barn in South Woodstock, Vt.


It was 75 degrees yesterday when I left New Jersey head to Vermont. I watched as the temperature got lower the farther north I drove. When I got to our house in Woodstock, it was 35. The snow gods were busy this winter in Vermont and there is still two feet of snow on the ground, which isn’t unusual since March is typically the snowiest month in Vermont. While driving around South Woodstock this afternoon, I saw this barn with nice sunlight falling on it. I like the way fence was lit, I only wish I could have gotten lower so I would have only red barn showing through the fence, but a snowbank prevented it.

08 Oct 2010

Leaving Vermont colorful and blurry

A river flows beneath bright yellow fall foliage in South Londonderry, Vermont. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

A river flows beneath bright yellow fall foliage in South Londonderry, Vermont.

I finished my week in Vermont by driving some back roads and scenic highways on the way south. I took Route 100, which has to be one of the most scenic roads in the east. It runs the length of the state, from Massachusetts to within a few miles of Canada. The whole road has something to see. In South Londonderry, I drove down a small dirt road along the river where the water was running fast over rocks. Trees were showing some color, so I climbed out on rocks in the river and used a long shutter speed to make the water blurry. A fitting end to the trip, colorful and blurry.

See all of Loren’s Vermont fall foliage photos.