It was serendipity that got me out of my indoor cocoon last evening and gave me the gift of a beautiful sunset. I was watching the remarkably beautiful, moving, and tragic film by Ettore Scola, A Special Day. Taking an intermission to get some fruit and see if Blinky the cat was back from his evening rambles, I stepped out on the porch to let him in and gasped at the color suffusing the landscape. Mists rising after an afternoon rain created layered veils of distant trees, turning the views into visual poetry. I got my camera, put on my gardening shoes and wandered outdoors until the light faded from the sky. Above is a view of my vegetable garden, facing west; it was my first shot, taken at 8:04 PM.
My favorite old apple tree had a strong presence silhouetted against the misted background trees. As I was photographing, I knew that these images couldn't come close to the experience of being in the landscape: they simplify in lights and darks; the richness of color in the foreground is flattened into dark drama; the soft haze of distance is partly lost. The air, the scents, the sounds are gone; the translation of a three dimensional world into two dimensions leaves out so much, but I wanted to try to record this nonetheless.
(I recommend clicking the images to enlarge them so as to see more detail.)
Coming closer to that apple tree a few minutes later, the emerging leaves were tinged with the sunset's glow.
Still facing west, a large crabapple tree against the brilliant sky.
The same tree a little later, with the ever changing clouds.
From the backyard I looked towards the east, where distant trees faded into pink haze.
This last shot was taken at 8:17 as the sky began to darken but color remained in the clouds. The telephone pole is holding up the world as wires cross the sky. In a brief quarter hour I was in an earthly heaven.