At our last Photowalk, we got to the Great Salt Lake almost 3 hours before sunset, which gave us some time to kill. We did so profitably, but it made for a long session by the time the light got really sweet. With the right tools, it’s possible to consistently predict the cascade of sunset; we can calculate backwards to know just when to be on location. (That’s one great thing about our Photowalking adventures – there’s always something we will do better next time, but everyone has fun regardless.)
In December 2006, I photographed a spectacular instance of the atmospheric phenomen known as the Belt of Venus, the glowing pink color on the horizon in the opposite direction to the sun. The earth’s shadow is the blue band below the pink layer. It showed up the day before in the same location, but the winds were gusting at 40 mph and I couldn’t get a sharp image. Perhaps a proper meteorologist could describe the conditions that set it up (I’m guessing particulates or moisture in the air). I’m no weatherwoman, but I do know what time to look for it. I print out a custom sunrise/sunset calendar before any photography trip, and here’s how.