Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Most Awesome of All Sunsets

Every once in a while you get to see an act of nature the likes of which you've never seen before. I was able to witness such an act as the sun set over Lake Michigan on July 3rd.

I was at Silver Beach in St Joseph, Michigan to photograph the sunset. But it sure didn't look like I'd see a sunset on this day. This photo was taken at 9:17pm and the sunset was due at 9:26pm.
Here's the sky at 9:31pm. It has a little bit of color but at 5 minutes after sunset it looks like the show is basically over.
Why did I stick around? I usually leave at this point but for some reason I felt like I should wait. Here's 9:33pm.
Almost minute by minute the sky began to change. Here's 9:35pm.
It looked like the sun was about to rise. Here's 9:36pm.
At 9:39pm.
At 9:40pm.
At 9:41pm.
Also at 9:41pm. This photo more closely matches the way the beach looked up close. It was awesome and eerie all at once.
Here's a close-up of the lighthouses at this point.
Here's the sky at 9:42pm.
And just when I thought the colors couldn't get any more intense than they were... WHAMO! Here's the sky at 9:43pm.
Here's a pan out of the sky above the lighthouses at 9:44pm.
And a close-up at 9:45pm.
I had to stop shooting at this point and just take it all in. So beautiful! 

And here is where the night sky began to take over and the brilliant colors began to dim. 9:49pm.
Mind you, all but the first photograph were taken after the official time of sunset. None of these photos were altered or color corrected. Of all the sunsets I've seen over Lake Michigan, none has come close to this show. It sure paid off to stick around to see what would happen. I was so lucky to have my Rebel in my hands at the time!

I would have made this sunset my photo of the day, but really, how could I choose just one of these images? So instead I opted for this separate-from-my-series post. I felt this show of Mother Nature's deserved it. 


  1. Mother Nature, clouds, and a setting sun, truly the BEST!!! Some of the sunsets seen out west this winter were the same, gotta have those clouds! I love St. Joseph, and the lighthouse, this series of photos are the BEST!!!

  2. Thank you, Carol. I know I will look back on these photos and remember how awesome the sky looked that evening. It was amazing and I just had to share it.

  3. Beautiful! In my travels last year, I found that oftentimes the sunset was more incredible after the sun dropped below the horizon. These are amazing shots. Love the clouds and colors!!

  4. I thought you'd gotten pretty optimistic with the blog title, but no. Completely accurate. What a joy to have seen and I, too, am thrilled you had your camera in hand.

  5. Thank you, Becky and Susan. Your comments mean a lot to me because like Carol, you can truly appreciate the beauty of a sunset. I'm hoping one of these days the northern lights will come far enough south so I can photograph them over Lake Michigan. Wouldn't that be grand?!