Many’s the time I’ve head out with the camera expecting to shoot a sunset only to find a bank of cloud obscuring on the horizon, the sun sneaking behind it even before the sky had taken on its orange glow. In fact it’s not something that really factors prolifically in my photography these days, being as it has been eschewed in favour of low light, twilight and nocturnal shots.
So I wasn’t even thinking about a sunset when this image came about – I was out to capitalise on an anticipated pre-sunset warmth that I hoped might bathe the hills and the winding roads above Lancaster in a classic golden-hour light.
The eventuality was, of course, far removed from the scene in my mind and ultimately bordered on the hallucinogenic: I arrived to find a camera-laden van exactly where I wanted to be, slowly driving away from a man in a clown’s outfit following behind, and a bride – complete with smeared make-up – sat on an old sofa to the side.
Curious though – well let’s face it, anyone would be, I drove on in search of another location before eventually giving it up as a bad job.
They were still there as I drove back. Part of me wanted to just stop and watch, taking a few shots for myself, but by this time I’d got an idea stuck in my mind. The sun was a perfect burning orb as it sank seaward, the sky an ever deepening orange. I needed something to anchor the scene and the Ashton Memorial was just about reachable before it all dripped through the trees and into the bay.
With only a few minutes to spare I parked up, switched lenses and leapt out to capture the scene before me, instantly knowing I had something I’d be happy with. A blood orange sunset.
That winding road shot can wait until next time…