A Deck Of Clouds

My family lives in the countryside of Texas with lots of horizon and big skies. One nice thing about it is having more photo opportunities with nature.

One morning this week, I was treated to an extra nice sunrise. I stepped onto my front porch to let the dogs out when suddenly my eyes were caught by the glowing orange ball peaking out from a blue-ish cloudy sky.

Immediately I did a 180 back into the house to grab my camera (iPhone 7), thinking I had maybe 60 seconds of that golden moment before the sun was hidden behind the cloud deck.

I jogged over to my farm truck, stood up on the bed, and snapped away. I tried to frame the landscape nicely and expose the image in a balanced way.

Yeah, that means I just tapped on parts of the image I wanted to focus/expose on and let auto-HDR handle the rest. It was a snapshot moment worth getting.

Hopefully the results are appealing. There’s so much texture in the clouds, and I like the orange sun contrasted with the blues in the sky.


When was the last breathtaking sunrise you saw? Shout out below or write to me. Thanks for reading!

Water Tower Sunset

The joy of photography for me happens when the wonder of creation surprises me, like a kid still discovering nature for the first time. Some of my favorite photos are ones that turn out better than expected. That happened in this picture I took of a water tower.

My family had been hiking Abilene State Park one day several years ago, and we were headed down a trail from Buffalo Wallow. This path took us by the small water tower.

I looked up, noticing the many birds gathering on the tower’s steel bracing. The sight of them really caught my eye. My camera was hanging from its black strap around my neck1, so I lifted it up, composed the image, and snapped away.

My aim was to put the tower off center and at an interesting angle; it’s structure, as I recall, was more of my focus after the birds. The tower’s dark silhouette against the setting sun was kinda nice. Otherwise, it’s just plain old white in full sun.

It was during the edit phase that this photo became one of my favorites. I remember tweaking it in Lightroom. I like vivid color, so as I sought to bring out the sky more – it was washed out looking – I saw colors that I had no idea were in the sunset!

It was truly surprising. I was able to bring out more color than I imagined. It was the last thing on my mind when making the picture in the field. I went for the birds, then the tower. But the colorful sky, with its beautiful gradient, is what won me over here.

This is one reason I like photography. The ability to see, discover, and capture the wonder of creation. There’s glory exhibited around us, if only we take the time to stop and behold. And sometimes it will surprise you like a young child. Don’t lose your sense of wonder!

What do you like about this photo? How would you do it differently? Comment below or message me. Thanks for reading!

  1. This was before everyone’s camera was always in their pocket!

An iPhone Sunset

Back in 2012, I got the iPhone 4. It was my first smartphone. Cameras on phones were not very good, but they we’re on the cusp. Instagram was pretty new and hot back then. I enjoyed a bit of iPhoneography.

One day at sunset, I went out snapping. Across from our house was a field with wide open space and an angle towards the sweeping horizon.

I think I got kinda lucky that day, blessed with the right conditions. Right time of day, right place, right time of year when crops were green…

This sunset photo is one of my favorites because of the vibrant colors I was able to bring out in editing. Lots of lush green, vivid blue, and warm orange/red.

I composed the horizon just above the centerline of the shot and the sun offset left, kinda following rule of thirds. There were not really any clouds, so this was less of a sky shot and more about the field over which the star of our solar system can shine on some photosynthesis.

That’s kinda cool, literally “light synthesis,” right? Sure, plants do that. But that’s like photography, “light writing.” Graphing the light, synthesizing light with other objects.

Anyways, enjoy the photo! It’s also in my Gallery.

What do you like about sunrises and sunsets? How do you like to soak up the sun? Comment below. Write me here. Thanks for reading.