Although the western side of Cape Breton Island is known as the Sunset Side, I did not get more than a handful of sunset photos this summer (cèilidhs and driving to dances don’t offer me a lot of opportunity) and the majority of those were from Meat Cove. Because of the lay of the land in Meat Cove, the sun sets early, even in mid-summer, ducking down behind the western Highlands by 20h in mid-June, so it is not the best of places from which to observe Cape Breton’s spectacular sunsets. Moreover, I don’t have a lot of experience with sunset photography, though a book my eldest nephew gave me as a gift this past Christmas has taught me some things I am eager to try out this year, including some capabilities of my camera of which I was previously unaware. Still, I think the photos on this page have some merit and they sure do bring back great memories of the evenings I spent watching the declining light in Meat Cove.
The evening skies beyond the western Highlands, with the summit of Little Grassy at the right, display their beauties in photo #1. This scene is somewhat darker than it actually was, as I had the exposure set at -1.67 to cut down on the ambient light, the better to bring out the colours in the clouds and at the horizon. This was about as brilliant as the sunset got at my vantage point, though the bright band of orange over Little Grassy testifies that the sun was still up on the far side of the Highlands.
Photo #2 was taken five minutes before photo #1 and with the exposure set to -2; it looks to the left of the previous photo. The declining sun has lit up the edges of some of the darker grey clouds and its rays reached way inland, as the pink cloud at the upper left of the photo and those seen in photo #3 attest.
Photo #3, again taken with the exposure set to -2, is of a fairly tenuous puffy white cloud tinged with darker greys that captured the setting sun’s rays, turning it a very pretty pink colour against the blue evening sky, which, directly above the Lodge, did not exhibit the grey overcast skies seen in photos #1 and #2 above and beyond the western Highlands.
Photo #4 shows the moon against the clear blue skies above the Lodge; taken before any of the three previous photos with the exposure set to -3, it added its light to the lovely evening. This state of affairs did not outlast the advent of nightfall, when it was hidden by solid overcast making its way inland from the Gulf.
Photo #5 is from the following evening at 19h45, where the setting sun casts a rosy hue in the skies beyond the summit of Little Grassy. This proved to be an auspicious omen (“red at night”), for the following Thursday was a perfect day!
Photo #6, taken thirty minutes after photo #5 and, like it and photo #7, without any exposure correction, shows the later state of the skies over the Gulf, with the western Highlands ending in Little Grassy and Blackrock Point in silhouette at the right across the waters of Meat Cove. This photo speaks to me of the great peace, beauty, and tranquillity of this incredible place!
Photo #7, taken soon after photo #6, brings more of the western Highlands into view, all in silhouette at 20h16. The big dark grey cloud at the left, part of which extends into photo #6, proved benign and was gone by the following morning, a most welcome change from the heavy fog banks of this day.