Kinistino to Prince Albert
January 30, 1999

I have to appologise for the size of this page and the length of time it takes for it to load (48 seconds) but my problem is how to give you a sense of this afternoon's departing sun.

There is a sort of sadness that arises from the departure of the sun from the sky each day. Its warmth and light not only provide for our sustenance but carries our spirits with it as well. Some times it seems that the sun is reluctant to leave the day and turn over the sky to night and
does so reluctantly leaving as it goes a spectacle that reminds us of its magnificence and the promise of its impending return on the morrow.

This set of pictures is a sequence each shot one after the other from the van as I travelled from Tisdale to Prince Albert Friday afternoon. The title picture is actual from near the middle of the sequence as it is picture four. So the first image was taken West of Kinistino through the windshield thus giving it and the next image some unwanted anomalies
The high alto stratas clouds are a part of the warm Southerly flow of air across the prairies and provide an excellent backdrop for the sun to refract its light on the bottom side of this high clouds. I like the light burst rays in this image as it appears to highlight the electrical transmission tower in the foreground.

As all sunsets the terminator (line between light and dark) moves over the earth's surface at one thousand miles an hour at the equator while just around the Mach One at our latitude (Mach is the speed of sound which is relative to the temperature or density of the air but averages just over 600 mph) thus explaining the rapid changes we see from the
surface as either sunrise or sunset occurs. The picture on the right was half a mile from the crest of the hill East of Birch Hills and from this image the golden light has been replaced by the red as the spectrum steadily moves toward violet.

These pictures have not been retouched but are just as the CCD in the Epson PhotoPC 500 saw the image and electronically recorded it in digital data. I draw this to your attention because the dramatic difference in light intensity and colour is not only a matter for the sky but with the snow covered ground which is a reflector it also changes colour coordinating
with the sky's hue. This picture is right near the crest of the hill and like all of these with the exception of the first two in the sequence was shot through the open window of the van and the air resistance on the camera and the driver dodging traffic caused a slight blur.

In this image the fingers of red penetrate across the bluing skyscape as the horizon's yellow glow begins to fade
This image shows the blurring now more pronounced as not only the wind is an affect on the hand that holds the camera but the lower light lever affects the camera's automatic exposure system as the shutter is held open longer to gather more light to register the image.
Four minutes later with Birch Hill's in the foreground the remnant of the setting sun is itself turning from gold to orange and the snow is beginning to turn violet from the red in the sky.
But the show is not over this picture about three minutes later shows the clouds that minutes ago were glowing red now becoming dull and only the horizon's clouds still holding on to the lingering light of the January 29.
Now a couple of minutes later the final blast of light before the sun is gone and the sky is relinquished to other inhabitants.

Unfortunately, digital cameras of the type I use and their wide angle lens can not capture the fine subtitles that we see with our eyes for only a few minutes later in that same angle as can be seen at the top of the violet clouds at right appeared Venus, the evening star as the suns light bounced from it across these
millions of miles.

The final picture in the sequence is half an hour from the first one and we can see the gaudy advertising image from the Col. Sander's place and a few street lights but the bright white light to the left of the bucket is the heavenly body in charge of the night sky.

The thin high cloud marginally smears the light from the moon only enough to make its image appear in this picture.

By the way, were you to have used a film camera your pictures of this sequence would be even better. Low light and darkness is great to experiment with and you will discover that your film camera and its lens can produce and capture some remarkable things. The most important thing is to learn get your body still and brace your hands so that if the camera's auto exposure timing mechanism kicks in you had hold the camera stable for the exposure. 1/15 of a second is possible with most people and with a wall or fixed object you can hold things stead for longer but it requires practice.