Into Your Fire

I’ve been trying to get better at sunset shots. I’ve probably shot a couple thousand frames from March or this year until now. I’ve driven places, planned, not planned, tried just about every lens I have access and I’ve got maybe half a dozen killer images to show. So instead of driving last night, I shot this out my bedroom window. Good thing, because the girls are with me this weekend and I couldn’t have driven anywhere to shoot this without two very grumpy sleep deprived girls the next day. I’ll be watching the skies for the next several months and trying to grab the best sunsets I can from my window.

One thing I’ve been noticing is that my favorite and best shots come from the blue hour (wikipedia; Flickr pool; Google+; 500px). This is the time of morning/night where the sun is not visible, the sky is blue and the colors turn fantastic.

Soundtrack for this image is Mark Knopfler’s “Smooching” from the soundtrack to the great 1980s movie Local Hero. I won’t link to the Wikipedia page for the movie, because the ending is so nicely done.



The chord progression is delicious and Knopfler’s playing is the embodiment of precise, super technical finger picking, yet full of emotion. Nerd note: fans of 1980s tenor sax might recognize the late great Michael Brecker weaving some really nice playing around 2:43. I bought the soundtrack for this song and it was a staple on all my college era mix tapes. This track shows where Dire Straits was going pre-Brothers in Arms. A lot All of my breakups during the 1980s featured this song as a soundtrack. Something about the chorus turnaround chords kills me every time I hear them.

My introduction to the film was via Gregory’s Girl which was also directed by Bill Forsyth (Wikipedia; IMDb). Even if you don’t like the song, see Local Hero because Burt Lancaster is fantastic. Plus, Scottish accents galore.

* * *

Daily affirmation: Show up.

  • Susan Dakes

    This photo is magnificent!

    • blurb


  • PandoraHasABox

    There’s something about this photo. I know that the sky is moving “away”, but it almost looks like it’s coming right at you. Plus, if you squint, it looks like a layer of rock that a geologist would find fascinating.

    Moral of the story: You don’t always need to leave your house to find something interesting or beautiful.

  • David Wattenbarger

    Zefrank just had a post about the “blue hour”…it’s funny, because I just came here from there!

  • americanrecluse

    Hmm. I thought I posted a comment earlier. I guess Disqus ate it. I’m sure it was profound and deeply moving but alas, it’s gone.

    This photo makes me feel the same way I feel when I see photos of lava – I want to stick my hands in it.

  • jenniferdaddio

    Did you ever see the movie, “Smoke?” In it, Harvey Keitel takes a photograph ever day outside of his shop in Brooklyn at 8am. You should see it. Maybe it will inspire you to do the same kind of thing. : )

    • blurb

      I have seen Smoke. Loved It! I love when William Hurt is looking through the shots. Such a great scene.

  • Manda

    I love this. I’ve tried for years to get a good sunset shot and all I have to show for it is ONE single great photo, out of (I’m sure) thousands of attempts. But this one is better. :) Love your photos.
    P.S. This is the view from your bedroom window? Jealous.

  • Beth Rich George

    I think my daily message should be “Don’t wait too long before reading blurbomat.” I am now listening to “Smooches,” and with the pic I am taken back to one particularly difficult breakup, where I started to heal with this song and a similar sunset across the Texas sky. It’s funny – my mind remembers the sense of hope that I felt, but my body still feels the heartache just a bit, over 20 years later. As always, thanks for sharing.

    • Beth Rich George

      Sorry, darn those fingers – Smooching.