The past few weeks have offered some blazing and glorious sunsets here in Bellingham, Wash. One of the things I like to shoot during sunsets are something different than what everyone else shoots: the sunset. It’s nice to get something better. During one particular evening, the sight of the setting Sun was too much to bear. I just had to shoot it.
I had a scheduled shoot to meet “Dirty Dan” portrayer Jim Rich to photograph a few portraits of him. One of the things I wanted was to use the late evening light to get some nice photos. I also wanted to do some lit portraits so having low light would make things a little easier.
Old Georgia Pacific Digesters
As I drove from the assignment through downtown Bellingham, I saw that the Sun was going to peek from behind the clouds. So I decided on a detour which took me past the old Georgia Pacific paper mill along the waterfront. As I know the light can change dramatically during the evening, I parked as soon as I found a spot on West Holly Street and Bay Street.
Grabbing my tripod, D300s with 17-35, D3s with 70-200, remote trigger, and ND filters, I headed to the bridge on West Chestnut Avenue a block away which overlooks the new waterfront development. The view was phenomenal as I set everything up. I used my D3s and telephoto to get the Sun as it was behind the digesters. I moved to a spot where the Sun was peeking from behind the digesters to attempt to get a nice sunburst. Here are a few tips on capturing a sunburst.
After capturing the scene from the bridge, I moved a block away to the parking lot for Blackburn Office Equipment. Their parking lot overlooks the railroad tracks and has a nice view of the overall waterfront development project. While photographing the overall blazing sky, I saw that the light was reflecting off the wet railroad tracks and that the steam from the Puget Sound Energy Encogen Generating Station was turning a beautiful backlit sunset orange. After spending 10 minutes capturing that, the Sun finally began to set behind Lummi Island and the light faded from the tracks.
Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Prints of these images, plus many others of Bellingham and the Pacific Northwest, are available from my website on the page Beautiful Bellingham and Landscapes of the Great Pacific Northwest.
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Paul Conrad is a Bellingham wedding and portrait photographer living in Bellingham, north of Seattle, WA, in the Pacific Northwest. He has won awards in news photography, features, sports, portraiture, and documentary. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and in Europe. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. Although his specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings.
His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, AirBnB, The Bellingham Herald, and many local business in Whatcom County. Previous clients are Associated Press, the New York Times, L.A. Times, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and many others.