Weird things happen with the light at dusk and dawn. The sky is warm in color but the shadows are cool blue in hue, and all the light is soft. Add in clouds that reflect other tones from the sky back down into the shadows, and you never know what it adds up to.

These kinds of images are hard to process, in part because you can make them look very different, depending on the choices you make.

If you just want it to be the literal representation of what you actually “saw”, (pure documentary image) the challenge is to remember what it actually looked like as this fleeting light shifted moment by moment. Even for hard-core documentarians, this is not easy. At some point, you just have to process the image as best you can and true to your own vision and style.

Take this series I shot the other night of the Trinity River flooding a nearby wetland cell after heavy rains.

It was a rather muted sunset, and at 8:15pm (the moment of sunset) there was a flat white light on the water, reflected from the whitish clouds above.

Trintiy River overbanking at Joppa Preserve, Great Trinity Forest, Dallas, Texas, USA

Trintiy River overbanking at Joppa Preserve, Great Trinity Forest, Dallas, Texas, USA

At 8:32pm, a small light show started, pushing some pinks and purples into the sky and bouncing those hues back into the shadows and water.

Trintiy River overbanking at Joppa Preserve, Great Trinity Forest, Dallas, Texas, USA

Trintiy River overbanking at Joppa Preserve, Great Trinity Forest, Dallas, Texas, USA

One minute later, the purples faded, and the shadows in the water shifted more to a blue, giving the same image a completely different feel.

Trintiy River overbanking at Joppa Preserve, Great Trinity Forest, Dallas, Texas, USA

Trintiy River overbanking at Joppa Preserve, Great Trinity Forest, Dallas, Texas, USA

All images shot with Canon 1Dx with 10-15 second exposures at roughly f/11. Graduated neutral density filter. I darkened the skies a bit in processing and lightened up the band of trees on the horizon just a little bit to bring out a tiny bit of detail.