Ive often thought of myself as a decent enough photographer. At least until I put my work next to that of someone who really knows what theyre doing. An especially sharp dose of this reality came some twenty years ago when my friend Mike and I took a trip to Europe with our spouses. Time after time wed come upon a spectacular photo opportunity in a magnificent cathedral or picturesque Paris back street. Wed line up our shots and let fly, then anxiously await the results after we got home and sent the film in (remember film?) for processing. Inevitably, comparison of the prints would show who the real professional shooter was. And it was not yours truly.
Now to be fair to myself, Mike actually made a fair income with his camera while I was just a hobbyist. His camera never left his hand. Someone passionate about his craft to the point of making it a career somehow makes this passion obvious in the images he creates. Rockwall is home to a surprising amount of this creative passion, none more evident than in the work of one Jack Palmer.
There arent many in the area who havent seen Jacks work. His images consistently adorn the walls of local galleries and restaurants. He has done commercial work for hotels, car dealers and other local businesses. Like Mike, he is rarely seen without the tool of his trade in hand. But to my mind there is one type of shot that makes Jack stand out in a very creative crowd, one that tempts me to start calling him “Mr. Sunset.”
As summer wanes and fall clouds begin to adorn the suns daily descent into the west, natures palette starts mixing more vivid colors in the evening sky. Most of us, in a hurry to get from here to there, may take notice and grab a quick shot on the way. Few of us stop and wait for that Magic Moment, the instant where the colors are their sharpest, when the sun takes its final dip below the horizon and splashes the clouds with a furious burst of glory. Few of us have that knack. Jack has that knack.
I was walking with Jack the other day as evening was closing in. He said that it didnt look like a really favorable day for a good sunset shot. Not enough clouds, he said. I had things to do and hurried off. Jack being Jack decided to wait it out and see what opportunity might present itself. The top photo was the result.
A visit to Jacks website will uncover hundreds of stunning images in over a dozen categories. I recommend taking some quality time there to discover what the world looks like through the eyes of one who can see what the rest of us routinely miss. Its all right in front of us. Sometimes we need a “Mr. Sunset” to help us slow down, take a deep breath, and let the world show its true colors.
Story by Bob Lewis ~ photography by Jack “Mr. Sunset” Palmer