Sunset at the Salt Lake City Airport

Recently we were returning to Casper from North Idaho.  To do this by air one must fly from Spokane, Washington, to Salt Lake City, then on to Casper.  The Salt Lake stopover was very pleasant this time as we had plenty of time to sit around the airport and read or just look out the large windows onto the runway.  As we awaited our next flight,  I checked my e-mail and drank coffee.  Looking up, I noticed there was a beautiful sunset over the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. Closing my computer, I pulled my camera from the bag and  attempted to take some pictures through the windows.  I kept getting an ugly reflection caused by those large windows and the activity in the airport. I realized I didn’t have time to look around for fewer reflections as  it was about time to catch my plane.  I stashed my camera back in the bag, at least knowing that I had witnessed a fantastic western sunset with oranges, reds, purples and other assorted colors even if the pictures I had taken weren’t really very good.  I knew my pictures had problems because of the magic of digital photography.  I could see the pictures on the back of my camera.

As with any airport there is a wait time for zone loading and other incomprehensible delays while waiting to board.  The same is true at Salt Lake.  Once we were given permission to board, it was a long walk to the plane.  For our short flight to Casper, we loaded outside and walked up the steps to the plane.  As I was walking out and up, I noticed the western sky was still very colorful, but the sun had set.  Just as I was going to walk into the plane, the thought came to me, why not get my camera out, hand hold it, use the railing for support, take a picture,  and see what happens. Fortunately, my camera was handy in my backpack.  Out came the camera, and I had time for at least one click.

As I aimed, I knew I wanted the colors in the sky to be the main theme of the picture.  Consequently, I deliberately composed the picture, so the results would be lots of sky and very little ground area.  I did want the Oquirrh Mountains to show as a silhouette but did not want the runway to dominate the foreground.  Therefore, my horizon line is low allowing the sky to dominate.   Notice that in this composition the horizon does not cut the picture in half.  Obviously, this was done to accent  the sky.

I might add here that in landscape photography, it is usually better to NOT cut the picture in half with the horizon.  You might instead decide what is more relevant and compose accordingly.  Obviously in this photograph I wanted the sky to be the most important part of the picture, so I composed for it to dominate.

For those camera buffs I was using my Pentax K20D camera, ISO 100, Pentax 28mm to 250 mm zoom lens set at 1/60 second, f/4, focal length 32.5.

Salt Lake City Sunset

The end result was a delightful picture of the alpineglow (the rosy light of the setting or rising sun seen on high mountains) as seen from our airplane when we boarded to go back home to Casper after a very rewarding and enjoyable trip to North Idaho.

To see more of my photography please go to  Your comments would be greatly appreciated as well as any purchases.

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2 Responses to Sunset at the Salt Lake City Airport

  1. Beautiful picture, Sam. Thanks for the good advice.

  2. Thank you. It’s amazing where a photo opportunity will present itself.

    You can now subscribe to my blog from the menu on the right side of the blog.

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