In my last post I featured the first image from our adventure on Brasstown Bald to photograph a sunset. I mentioned that there were more images to come and that we witnessed an epic sunset. This post is the second installment and image with more to come!
One of the reasons that the sunset was so memorable was that conditions continued to change over the course of the evening. One dynamic was a series of thunderstorms that kept popping up to our northwest. Depending on how close the storm was to us, it either obscured the valleys in the foreground, caused the sunlight to create some really cool shadows, or put on a lightning demonstration. The storms moved from our northwest to the north, effectively from the Tennessee/Georgia border to the southern edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
I mentioned that the sunset was also memorable because of its duration. This shot is after the one I posted a couple of days ago but still thirty minutes or so before sunset. As the sun dropped behind layers of clouds it created different effects. The clouds and sky changed colors dramatically. It was also perfect atmospheric conditions for God rays to form. (Okay, the scientific term is crepuscular rays, but God rays sounds much more awesome.)
The great thing about being on Brasstown Bald this night was the ability to see in 360 degrees. As I was watching the light show in the west, I was able to look behind me and see clouds already tinting pink and red behind me to the east. At about this time there was something cool to shoot in virtually every quadrant of the sky. So, I decided it was a good time to try to take a panoramic image of the conditions.
This shot was taken on a tripod with each image in portrait orientation. I took eleven different shots each overlapped by twenty percent or so. I stitched them together with the very handy Photomerge feature in Photoshop.
I love that you can see the variety of conditions that were present that night all in one shot. The skies are mostly clear on the left side of the frame and the thunderstorm is visible on the right. The sky is already turning a bright orange as the sun nears the horizon.
Believe it or not, the best is yet to come – at least in my opinion. I’ll post the actual sunset images in a few days. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these. Let me know if you do.