Gorgeous photos bookend weekend fishing trip

Sunrise, Sunset photos I couldn't pass up

My wife has been encouraging me to step away from my computer and relax, so when buddy Darren Cooper called and asked me to go fishing in Louisiana's Pointe aux Chenes marshes I jumped at the opportunity. 

And I tried not to take my camera gear — but, hey, it's what I do.

I arrived in the little fishing village just after sunrise the first morning, and Darren and I spent the day chasing redfish in shallow marsh ponds. It was a lot of fun, and we caught a number of fish. Definitely relaxing.

We were with a group of Darren's co-workers, and we were set to eat at 6 p.m. The entire time we were visiting and eating, I was looking at the sky because the clouds were really starting to look good.

"You working?" one of they guys asked with a smile. I guess it showed.

I finally couldn't take it any longer, and jumped in my truck and drove until I found a nice view over the marsh that would serve as a backdrop for the sunset.

I set up my tripod on the bed cover of my truck to see over a small levee, and then I waited. As blood-thirsty horseflies swooped in on me. They were hungry.

No worries: It's all part of the game, so I just swatted at them and watched as the sun descended.

Ten minutes before sunset, a huge cloud bank moved onto the western horizon, and the sun disappeared — and my heart sank.

However, I've learned never to give up too quickly. So I kept up my vigil, and a few minutes later the cloud bank broke at just the right moment and place.

The result was an obscured sun that looked like a huge orange ball. Perfect!

As I framed up the shot, I noticed another cool element: a thunderhead dumping its load of water. So I included that in the upper left of the frame.

The photo below is the result. It's a wonderful shot of the Louisiana marsh, with the sun toward the bottom right balanced by that collapsing thunderhead in the upper left.

I went back to the camp knowing I had a winning shot.

The following morning we were fishing a little company tournament, so Darren was hoping I'd leave the camera in my truck and concentrate on fishing. And I tried. I really did.

But at the last minute, I ran back and grabbed my box to much good-natured (I think) harassment.

It was the best decision I made all day, as we were in position at an old dock way out in the marsh when the rising sun illuminated another cloud bank.

I made Darren position the boat several times to get the perfect angle, all the time while being castigated for not fishing.

But the photo at the top of this page was worth the heckling. It's a beautiful view of the marsh backed by a wonderful sunrise.

Oh, and we caught a lot of fish that day, finishing third in the tournament.

A win all the way around!