Sunset photography can be a hit-or-miss thing in Southern Louisiana. With no mountainsides or tall ridges to capture light, the success of sunset photography is often dependent on evening cloud formations.
A little over five years ago, I photographed a sunset at Lake Martin for the first time. It was, to be honest, less than successful. It was an unplanned shoot from a very poor location and, making it worse, with an almost cloudless sky. Since then I’ve found a much better location for shooting Lake Martin sunsets, and in May 2016 I went to that spot to photograph my second Lake Martin sunset. Unfortunately, the cloud formation that evening did not produce much color. Late last month I decided to try for another sunset from that location.
The sun was still above the horizon when I finished setting up my tripod, and during my wait for sunset, I was casually looking at the surroundings. When I glanced toward the southeast, I saw a group of moss-draped cypress trees bathed in golden light produced by the setting sun.
OLYMPUS E-M1MarkII (41mm, f/7.1, 1/160 sec, ISO1000)
Soon the sun met the tree-lined horizon, then dipped below it. When it had completely disappeared, clouds on the horizon and high in the sky became reddish pink. I was a bit irritated by the presence of the man-made linear “cloud” in the scene, i.e., the jet aircraft contrail added to the sky before sunset. On the other hand, it is interesting to notice the different color of the contrail because of its higher altitude.
OLYMPUS E-M1MarkII (24mm, f/8, 1/60 sec, ISO200)
The January sunset shown above and the May sunset mentioned earlier illustrate well the changing sunset location during the year. In the above image, the sun had set just to the right of the short tree near the center of the image. In late spring the sun makes a higher, larger arc in the sky and sets more to the north than it does in the winter. The May image shows the sun setting beyond the right edge of the above photograph, i.e, closer to the north shore of the lake.
Hover your mouse cursor over any marker in the map below to see which photos were taken at that location.