Route 22 Sunset
Normally when I think of great sunset photos I think of the classic landscape design elements: a calm lake, a mountain vista, maybe a weathered old barn or covered bridge in the foreground. Never have I thought about a stretch of highway better known for car dealerships, adult book stores, and strip malls.
And yet last evening, along Route 22 in Westmoreland County, I captured some of my most memorable sunset images, all at 65 mph while headed home to State College from Latrobe.
I was a passenger in a car driven by my friend Jeremy, and based upon the cloud formations I had a hunch we were in for a spectacular light show as the sun set. At first I was a little upset that I wasn't positioned on some mountaintop perch to photograph it. To make matter worse, we were headed east, and the show promised to be behind us in the western sky.
Then I had an idea. I asked Jeremy to pull off the road so I could grab my camera out of the trunk. Once I was back in the car, camera at the ready, we rolled on down 22 eastbound again, right as the sun dipped below the horizon.
The brilliant reddish-orange hue that the clouds took on illuminated the passenger-side mirror and I started snapping away, trying to capture the reflections in the mirror and off the car windows while keeping as much of the traffic behind us in focus as I could. It was no easy task, but the accompanying images turned out as well if not better than I had hoped for.
Moral of the story: always have your camera handy, and make the most of great lighting any way you can. If that means shooting reflections in a mirror on a busy stretch of highway at 65 mph, so be it.