Sunset by the River

I went out to a park to hike and perhaps catch some photos of fall color reflected in the river. Unfortunately there is not a lot of fall color to catch around here and there is barely any water in the river to reflect any of it. But I did get a nice hike and took a photo of the trail through the trees that I think turned out well.

Hiking Trail at Tejas Park

A few days later I went back to see if there was a sunset opportunity as I saw a view looking down the river on my previous expedition that I wanted to check out. This view didn’t work out but I did notice that even though the river was low, there were lines in the rocks of the river bottom that pointed almost directly at the sunset. I experimented with getting low over these grooves to get a nice stretch of water leading to the horizon.

Sunset at the North Fork San Gabriel River – November 13

Unfortunately, the sunset was less that exciting and beautiful, but I did have a chance to experiment with this location and the river bottom. I do think that perhaps I was too far back down the narrow channel of water and there wasn’t much room for the sunset to reflect in the water.

I also came around to the side to see how the large bed of rocks would look with the water in the mid-ground.

Sunset at the North Fork San Gabriel River – November 13

A few days later I was leaving the house to go to the store and as I was driving down the street I could see the clouds lining up for a nice sunset. So, I made a u-turn and ran back in to grab my camera backpack and rushed back to this location. I was parking just as the sun was setting and had to hurry down to the river before the show was over. It was worth the last minute change of plans and the rushing around as the sunset was very nice and persisted until deep into twilight.

Sunset at the North Fork San Gabriel River – November 17
Sunset at the North Fork San Gabriel River – November 17

As you can see I moved up a little closer to the wider part of the river to maximize the reflections. I think that this worked better for the overall composition. I will point out that in the first picture, I had hastily set up and I think that the lens was not completely locked in place as I have no lens data and it appears to have been shot at maximum aperture. I noticed the odd behavior and reseated the lens for the next series of shots. Because it was maximum aperture, I got reasonably good focus even though the autofocus was not working, so it wasn’t a loss. With the second image all my settings were dialed in like I wanted and I got a fiery reflection across the water in the river. I did get a lot of warm color on the stone river bed so I edged the shadows to the blue a bit in LightRoom.

I next made my way around to get more of the water in the shot with the riverbed to the right. I didn’t want to get too close to the water as I thought the rock framed the water shape well.

Sunset at the North Fork San Gabriel River – November 17

The sky continued to glow orange almost until dark and I could have stayed there and continued shooting, but I think I had what I came for. I took a parting shot and tried to get the crescent moon in the sky over the trees.

Sunset at the North Fork San Gabriel River – November 17

Thanks for reading.

38 thoughts on “Sunset by the River

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