Winter was rather cold in Charleston this year, though sometimes swings in weather bode well for colorful skies at dawn and dusk. I missed a good sunset two weeks ago so headed to Pitt St later that week to make up for it. Clouds extinguished the setting sun quickly, but the trees had started to bud: summer is coming!
In my time here so far, my two favorite places to photograph in the Charleston area are the Ravenel Bridge and Botany Bay. The bridge is simply majestic, though I don’t feel like I’ve depicted its full grandeur yet. Botany Bay at sunrise is the closest definition of tranquility that I’ve found here. Naturally, it’s difficult to photograph the boneyard at Botany Bay from a place other than Botany Bay, but there’s plenty of vantage points for the bridge. One week ago, I decided to check out a new location to shoot the bridge at sunset.
Since my first attempt, I have twice wanted to wake up for a Botany Bay sunrise. Both times, I was too tired to wipe the sleep from my eyes; the will to wake up for the magic of sunrise apparently lessens with age. Not wanting to lose a third time, I set my mind to making the hourlong trip. Judging from the colors in the sky, it seemed the results wouldn’t be so different from those of the first shoot: like last time, it began with a muted blue-grey sky; turbulent Atlantic waves; a dash of yellow and orange on the horizon; and the grim, stoic trees that withstand this ebb and flow 365 days a year.
Don’t get me wrong — a sunset isn’t “easy” in the sense that it doesn’t take preparation or that conditions are always perfect. But I am (and most people are) almost always awake at sunset. Sunrises, on the other hand, demand effort — to stay awake, to get up, to suffer through the rest of the day and week. And even then, it’s a crapshoot as to whether the sky will alight with the right clouds to reveal a colorful sunrise.