Smoke on the water…

... a fire in the sky

(With apologies to Deep Purple.)

I took this photo on the spur of the moment the other night.  I was sitting around watching TV and I happened to look out the window.  It was around sunset.  I was looking out a north-east window, and all the houses, trees, and the sky were this amazing orange-salmon color.  I grabbed my camera, literally ran out the front door (facing the sunset) and snapped a couple of quick pictures.

Exposure at ISO 400 was 1/30 @f/5.6.  This was shot at 52mm, which just goes to show you can hand-hold a camera at a shutter speed slower than the reciprocal of the focal length (for the photo geeks out there) and still get a sharp picture.  Had I tried to use a tripod on this shot, there would have been no shot- the tripod was in the closet and would have taken me at least two to three minutes to set up.  These colors lasted about another 15-30 seconds and they were gone.  Why did I choose the 18-55mm lens?  That’s what was on the camera.  Again, a lens change would have meant missing the shot completely.

Post processing was done in Lightroom and all I did was bump up the contrast a little and did a bit of sharpening and noise reduction.  Other than that, this photo didn’t touch Photoshop.

The “photo” lesson here is to always be in some form of “ready.”  My camera is always packed away ready for the next shot- or at least close to it.  Sometimes it takes a lifetime to see a sky like that.  Thanks to Deep Purple, I was ready…


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