Cloudscape – Kinglsand, Texas

Here’s a simple shot that illustrates a key concept in landscape photography; patience!


Cloudscape – Kingsland, Texas
Copyright © 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 40D set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 24-105m f/4L IS USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 40mm, f/13 for 1/4th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

A few years ago a friend told me about a great spot for landscape photography hiding in plain sight in the Texas Hill Country. Kingsland is a quiet bedroom community stretching along the shores of the Colorado and Llano Rivers at the point where they merge to form Lake LBJ. It’s a short drive west from Marble Falls on Ranch Road 1431 to a wonderful spot overlooking Packsaddle Mountain to the west.

It takes perseverance to find a good location and a great deal of patience to wait until the light is just right. I find that on almost every photographic outing I’ll waste 20% to 30% of my shots way too early in the evening before the light has had time to saturate and the evening clouds to form.

If you’re anything like me, you want to setup as quickly as possible and start shooting that wonderful location you’ve driven so far to find. Patience you see, does not come naturally to most of us and learning to wait is just not in my Irish nature. But I’m learning and these days I’ll usually pack a light-weight folding chair and a good paperback so that I can sit comfortably while waiting for the light.

Sunsets take time. They begin with a little warmth and glow and slowly evolve into deeply saturated reds, yellows and blues. After 30 – 40 minutes more they deepen to ambers, indigos and violets and sometimes when the atmosphere is just right they sky may begin to glow a rich, deep purple before turning to true black.

So the next time you’re out looking for some great sunset shots, remember to be patient. Take one or two shots every tens minutes or so and plan to stay put for at least two hours. Let nature take it’s course and enjoy the wonderful show.

Life is too short!

4 thoughts on “Cloudscape – Kinglsand, Texas

  1. Great shot and good advice. Another thing I’ve found is that the light can peak for just a few fleeting moments, and if you aren’t in the right place at the right time, you can miss the perfect shot you drove all that way to get.

    Seems almost counterintuitive, but I find if I don’t relax and slow down, I don’t get “tuned in” to the surroundings and miss the cues that precede the peak. I missed a few shots this way and it is maddening.

  2. A great lesson to us, Jeff, and a wonderful accompanying photo. I agree with you 100% but I find myself sometimes getting impatient, too. 🙂

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