It Gets Dark After Sunset, Ya Know

(Originally posted November 20, 2012)

Sunset Ripples - Great Sand Dunes National Park - Colorado
Sunset Ripples – Great Sand Dunes National Park – Colorado

You’d think it doesn’t take much to remember that it gets dark after sunset, right?  Not the case when you’re so focused on getting your sunset shots as the light and weather start cooperating at Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado!

This day’s sunset shooting session wasn’t shaping up to be much of anything as we set out on the dunes.  That’s when the light started to change and the clouds started coming in to make the scene potentially more dramatic, if not fleeting.  Time to hustle a little to get a great spot for shooting…

Sure enough, in the swirl of my mind that was taking in all of the fantastic shooting options and rushing to get to my position to set up before the conditions vanished, I forgot to bring our headlamps so we could find our way back to the parking lot and our campground.  No problem though because my husband – ever the Boy Scout – would surely have them.  Turns out he forgot too… whoops!

So the sunset session went on as planned, and I pushed it as long as I possibly could while mentally balancing how the scenery was changing, the photographic potential, the rate at which it was getting dark, and how quickly we could get back to the car before the skies were completely black (and the animals – big and small – started to come out for their nightly fun).  I got some really fantastic shots on this particular evening, this image being one of them.

After the sun went behind the dunes, the clouds filled in too much for dramatic sunset colors, so we started back towards the car and our camp.  Much to our surprise, we walked a lot further from the parking lot than we had originally thought!  Double whoops!!  No worries though, because we did make it back with a hint of dusk to spare and went about our night.  (Stargazing at this park is fantastic – so much to see in the night skies!!)

This picture always reminds me of the new addition I made to my routine for sunset shooting sessions – putting a headlamp in my camera bag just in case I need it.  Something so simple, full of common sense, that I simply forgot that day that I won’t let happen again.  Definitely a “duh” moment for me, even though I got some amazing shots!  🙂

– JC

PS – Yours truly is still on the mend after foot surgery.  Things are healing well, just a little slower than little ol’ impatient me would like them to.  Unfortunately, that also means I’m still hobbling and am limited in what I can do.  Hopefully that doesn’t last much longer and our work on the Alpha Pup site (and life in general) can get back to normal!

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