Every Landscape Photographer plays this game. For me, it begins in the morning when I get up and exit the house – what do the clouds look like? The game gets serious around early afternoon – are there still clouds? What direction are they in? How thick are they on the horizon? Will the light get through? Are they moving quickly? How windy is it? I guarantee you these are questions photographers entertain throughout the day until around the 6.30pm mark when a decision must be made. To go, or not to go. For me, this is usually a peak out the front door to check the sky. Sometimes, just by looking at the cloud formations you can pick when they will go pink just by what kinds of clouds they are. Other times the sky can be a complete surprise.
This was one of those nights. I assessed the sky and thought “mmmm… plenty of cloud. Possibly too thick for any colour to get through”. I decided to bite the bullet and go anyway. Living in Huntingdale, I have limited choices close to me so the options are varied. I chose to go to Kalamunda and scope the zig zag – haven’t had fantastic success up there and the city always comes out looking tiny but it’s a beautiful spot out in the bush and if the sunset is a bust at least it’s a beautiful setting.
It started slowly. Minimal colour and limited spread to the surrounding clouds – the clouds were thick on the horizon which is usually not a very good sign. The light gets trapped beneath them and doesn’t show any colour. About 10 minutes after the sun had disappeared, the sky began to light up and eventually blazed in a show of orange, pink and red. It was lit for a good 40 minutes after the sun had gone for the night.