Everyone loves a great sunrise or sunset - myself included. We all want to capture those vivid colors that inspire wonder and make us appreciate the natural world that we have been blessed with. However, when you go out for that sunrise or sunset event, I want to remind you to look around. The star of the show is not always in the direction the sun is rising or setting. It can be in the opposite direction.
Oftentimes, the sun illuminates the clouds that are behind you while shooting. They are many times more spectacular than the event you set out to photograph.
This photograph was taken on Grandfather Mountain after the last program, and after we had dished out yummy free ice cream to all the participants. A group of us stepped outside the Nature Center, debating whether we should drive up the mountain to the top to photograph the sunset with the multitude of others who set out to do that very thing. We looked up, and saw this. This doesn't equal a brilliant sunset, but it IS pretty, and we all grabbed our cell phones and snapped a pic of this reflection of the color from the sunset to be. The cloud itsef is an interesting shape, and, well, the colors are pretty nice, too! Yes, I processed it a touch in Snapseed to make it a bit more contrasty and slightly more saturated (that's not an abnormal thing to do, you know), but still, nice images can be taken by a cell phone. Or, you can just stand there and wonder at the scene, which is okay, too! We did both.
My main point is this. You can go out to shoot with a purpose or a goal, but don't forget to look around you and see what Mother Nature has in store for you if you only look in a different direction once in awhile.