Fire in the Sky

Tonight, as the sun sinks, I look up just in time to see the clouds streaking across the sky, brilliantly lit in red and orange.  I’ve never seen the sunset in such a way as to create a striped backdrop for the skyline before.  I drop everything and run up to the roof.  Well, maybe not run, but walk as quickly as I can without falling on my face while carrying a tripod and camera.

When I get to the roof, I am amazed by the stillness of the air and the feeling of warmth rising from the roof.  I stand up my camera and start to shoot.  I would like to shoot nothing but the sky, but I can’t get the roof top across the street out of the frame.

The clouds create a blaze of fire over the horizon.  I stand there pondering whether my photos will look fake, the color is so brilliant.  I wonder what about Chattanooga causes so many glorious sunsets?  Is it just that because our windows give us a great view of the sunset that I notice how beautiful it is?  Or does Chattanooga have some sort of special set of circumstances that generates spectacular sunrises and sunsets on a regular basis?  Perhaps it’s just that coming from Columbus, Ohio, we so seldom saw the sun.

I stand for a moment between shots.  I let the light change a little before taking the next one.  I zoom out and try to capture the vastness of the sky.  It’s impossible.  I decide right then and there I’m buying a wider-angle lens.  I breathe in the evening air, moist with humidity rising off the cooling river.  I breathe out and let go of every worry.  All I see, think, and feel is the blazing sky.

I look closely and take aim.  I capture a moment of light and clouds and manmade structures all combined in a way that they have never been combined before and will never be combined again.  I adjust my exposure until, at last, what I see in my LCD is as spectacular as the sky that surrounds me.  I breathe again as I look at the Christmas tree reflecting in the river.  I wonder if it will show up in my picture.

I watch as the sunlight fades and the sky turns to more subtle shades of fire against twilight blue and then I shoot again, this time zoomed in to capture the reflection of the city on the river.

When the last of the light has faded away and I stand shivering on the roof top as the wind picks up, I pack up my tripod and camera and head back inside.  I take a look at my photos on my monitor and I am pleased.  While I have much to learn, at least there is one shot that perfectly captured what I wanted to capture while standing on the roof, shooting fire.


3 responses to “Fire in the Sky

  1. Pingback: Don’t Want to Miss This Syndrome | nomadicmainstream

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