4:15 in the afternoon: It was a spur of the moment decision. The sun was going down and the sky was clearing out. Blue was finally poking through but there were still some white and fluffy clouds overhead. I looked up the time for sunset: 5:05pm. Would I have enough time to get to the shore? The location I wanted to visit was 40 minutes away. It was worth a try! Within moments I grabbed my bag, changed my jeans and shoes, and hopped in the car as I raced against time to get to the southern Rhode Island shoreline!
4:45pm: I was still on the highway. There were a couple of beaches I knew about but they would be rocky, icy and looking in the wrong direction. I could go take the exit and give myself a few extra minutes to set up or risk driving to the next beach down the line. I chose to keep driving.
4:55pm: I took a wrong turn. I was supposed to go one more exit. Oh well, I was only a mile away and I could drive through a neighborhood to get there. No turning back now!
5:00pm: I was parking and running the few yards to the water. The sky was lighting up, I had barely minutes to put my tripod down and turn on my camera. Pinks, oranges, purples, all illuminating the clouds on the horizon. Wait for me! Wait for me! Just hold on a bit longer, please!
5:05pm: The sun was below the horizon. Any minute now all the color would be lost. I had only taken two frames and I was still tweaking my exposure.
5:08pm: A line of clouds were moving over the horizon and dimming the light. My colors were vanishing so fast! Just a few more exposures, please!
5:15pm: The colors were gone. The sky was already dull gray and blue. I had just enough time to take about 6 frames in all, and only one was just right.
These long exposures can be wonderful, but they certainly don't allow you too much flexibility when you're crunched for time. I was at the beach a grand total of about 20 minutes, most of which was spent walking from the parking lot to the waterline. It was worth it!
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