Former Vindicator photographer talks about his specialty: sunsets

Local News

Bill Lewis has been a professional photographer for 40 years

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – We often ask for weather-related Report-It pictures to be sent into WKBN.com, and by far, the ones we get the most of are of sunsets.

So, how does a professional photographer shoot sunsets and what are his favorite shots?

It’s a Thursday evening in Youngstown, and former Vindicator photographer Bill Lewis is high above the downtown area, shooting the sunset over the Steel Museum.

Lewis has been a professional photographer for 40 years, specializing in sunsets.

“I think sunsets are magical. They’re just works of art. No two are alike and best of all, they’re free. Nobody’s figured out a way to monetize them yet,” Lewis said.

Since Lewis spent most of his career working in downtown Youngstown, many of his favorite sunsets were photographed there. He would often use the Home Savings and Loan building in the foreground or have it reflect off of a mirrored window.

He’s also an avid sailor, spending a lot of time on Lake Erie.

But, his favorite spot at sunset is the Ashtabula lighthouse.

“That’s just this really wonderful structure, this iconic structure, and the sun sets right behind it every night. So that’s kind of cool,” Lewis said.

Lewis has a few tips for shooting sunsets. First, be patient — the perfect shot might not be there tonight. Second…

“Compose your shots, plan your shots. Find something interesting to put in front of that spectacular sunset,” he said.

Clouds or no clouds? Lewis prefers them.

“I think sometimes clouds tend to make the sky a little more interesting, especially right at sunset, they get some nice colors and contrast,” he said.

One of his favorite sunsets was just a few weeks ago. He was knee-deep in Lake Erie when a small airplane appeared low over the water.

“I was like wow, that made the shot. It was just totally unexpected. It just happened and it made for a cool photo,” he said.

And how about the sunset shot he wishes he could get?

“Oh, I won’t know that until I see,” Lewis laughed.

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