Sunset (exposure)

Have you tried moving your camera when you take a photo of the sky? When the sun is rising or setting people generally take photos of the landscape in the direction of the setting sun. Much more dramatic than the other direction. But include too much sky and the light entering the camera can be too much causing over exposure. Include more land and less sky and the sunset colours emerge more clearly.

By including more land the cameras automatic exposure changes. The area in silhouette may even reveal more detail than if you aim more at the sky. Also remember, if you have a crop tool on your camera you can remove part of the landscape while leaving the sky.

The only difference in these two photos is that I moved between the first and the second and I included more land in the second one.

Sunset sketch


I wanted to do a colourful sketch of the sunset which was all oranges and purples. I can’t get it exactly right as it is drawn in ArtRage oils, basically it’s a finger painting. I got the idea from a photo by a friend on a Facebook page, but as it’s just an impression there is no point in sharing the photo as this is much more impressionistic than the original.

Sunset over Alsager Mere

It doesn’t get more spectacular, looking out over the mere as the sun set, changing from orange and blue to a peach and rosy purple. It was a long day but enjoyable.

It’s interesting that on Mars the sky is red with dust in the daytime, then the sun sets and the sky turns blue.

I live on the wrong side of the hill so that I don’t get to see sunsets very often. It was lovely to see this.


Sunset over the mere


The clouds lifted over the mere as the sun set. For about five minutes it stopped raining and the drumming on the roof eased. The mere was almost invisible in the darkening evening. The only indication of it were reflections of house lights on the waters surface.

One strange ripple broke the surface. The wake of something moved across the glassy water of the mere.

A duck was heading for its nest for the night. Snap! It was gone.

A few feathers were all that were left.

The ripples stopped as the predator sank deeper. Patrolling now up and down the bank, a snap here, a snuck there, finding food…. The Pike picked its prey carefully.

Clocks, going back tomorrow night.


I live in the UK and the clocks are due to go back at two am tomorrow night, that means :

Advantage… Extra hour in bed

Disadvantage….. The sun sets an hour earlier. The winter blues set in. I hate it when the sun sets before 5pm. It takes ages for it to set later than that in the winter. It’s so depressing. Why? Because the Earth is tipped by about 23? degrees. That means in the winter the sun rises further south east, curves in an arc further south than in summer and sets further south west. The hours it is visible in the sky are less. (in the summer around here the sun can set about 11pm and rise about 3am!).

Cold and dark, shivering, chilly. Even now you can feel the year dwindling.

And… WORDPRESS changes from one day to the next at midnight. Not 1am as it does in the summer. That means I have an hour less time in the evening to post before the clock ticks into the next day….


Winter faces


I might be ill but I still need to paint.

This is called winter faces. I often paint images with faces in them. I think this one is because I used to walk in an avenue of trees in the park near where I lived. The trees seemed to each have a face, they were spooky but interesting at the same time.

I think I thought there were tree spirits, I hadn’t heard of ents or ent moots then! This is a 6 inch square acrylic on canvas. Solitary tree at sunset with stone lying snow.


Autumn equinox


When the sun sets tonight in the Northern Hemisphere night will last slightly longer than day. In the Southern Hemisphere day will now last longer than night. In six months time the tables will be turned as North heads back to spring and South to autumn.

Mists and mellow fruitfulness is the phrase from a poem I always think of. Finding mushrooms in the garden, seeing Robins looking for food, seeing the leaves change. Already there are tinges of red and yellow on the bigger trees, I think because, being higher up, their leaves feel the chill first. Driving up the local hill you see more changes. Presumably the trees on the lower slopes are more protected. Perhaps its a micro climate?

In a few months it will be winter. I’m hoping things don’t get too cold. But maybe I should hope for cold to cool the climate?

Happy Autumn Equinox.