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At Twilight

Though I have visited Olympic National Park numerous times in the past, I had never shot at Ruby Beach. So I stayed nearby for a few days at the beginning of my spring trip and spent two successive evenings there before heading further north. I created the photo above on the second of those nights.

After hiking down to the shore, I found many people—including quite a few photographers—enjoying the warm temperatures and sunny skies, somewhat unusual weather for the Washington coast in June. Though the morning had been overcast and cool, skies cleared by late morning, temperatures rose, and only wisps of clouds remained by the early evening as I made my way across the sand. Sunset would arrive at 9:10, so I had plenty of time to walk out to the location I had shot from the night before. On that night, a band of clouds, stretching across the horizon, lit with the setting sun. But even without the clouds, this night proved magical indeed. Particularly after the sun set.

For one, twilight brings a stillness and sense of peace. You can hear the ocean churning and the gulls calling. But little else. The light dims, but it remains light enough to see (and photograph). And twilight brings a palette you can’t see during the heat of the day. I composed the photo above about ten minutes after sunset. Ten minutes later, the color above the horizon intensified. And I continued to make twilight photos for another hour. I hope to share some of those photos, as well as some from my first night at Ruby Beach, in the weeks ahead.