Watch the western horizon
My wife and I were out sitting on a ridge, about an hour or so before sunset. I was ready to go home. My son was visiting from California and I felt bad that he was home alone. After taking a shot or two we pack up and got into the car.
There was quite a bit of cloud cover, so I did not expect a great sunset. My conscience wanted to go home to be with my son. Yet, as a photographer, I always keep my eyes out on the western horizon. I am looking to see if the clouds make contact with that horizon or if there is a gap with no clouds. This is imperative to make a prediction as to what is going to happen at sunset. If the clouds are think there and low down I go home as nothing is probably going to happen. The time passed by as I fought with the wish to go home. This is what the horizon line was telling me.
There was indeed a gap in the clouds. That is what a photographer prays for. When the sun drops into and below that gap as it sets it is likely to light up the clouds in the sky. I unpacked my gear and set up for a good sunset, or so I hoped. Well, you can decide.
This is what it was like after sunset.
So if it is cloudy and you decide to go, always scan the western horizon first. Look to see if there is a gap for the sun to shine through. If so, don't go! You may very well be in luck. Only leave if there is no gap in the clouds or if there is a cloud bank right on the horizon. When it is cloudy that western horizon is your friend. It can send you home early or promise a fiery sky. Always watch that western horizon before you make a decision to go or to stay.
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