Friday, 27 November 2009

A changing picture

Some of you might think I'm obsessed with sunsets. That's not actually the case, I prefer sunrises! Still, I tend to post a lot of sunset pictures here but it's not really by choice. I'm either working during the day or at night and often the only time I get a chance to get the camera out is between those shifts, i.e., sunrise or sunset.

Not being a morning person, you can see why the sunset shots predominate!

As it turns out, sunset or sunrise is normally the best time to take landscape pictures as the colours are much more intense during those times. During the middle of the day things tend to get washed out a bit and pictures are not so interesting. I've heard one or two stories that editors of photography magazines will simply not accept landscape photos if they are not taken during the "magic hour", i.e., the hour just after sunrise and the hour just before sunset. I don't know how true those rumours are but suspect there is something to it.

In fact you can take remarkably beautiful pictures before sunrise and after sunset. I think that's when the sky is at its best but often you need that sun just above the horizon to illuminate the scene such as mountains etc. For beautiful skies though, just after sunset is the best!

These two were taken a couple of days ago from my house. It's not the best place for sunset shots since I'm on the wrong side of the island for that and the utility lines tend to spoil things. Sometimes, though, I take a quick glance to the west and it looks stunning. So, even though I know I could take prettier shots elsewhere, I think it's better just to take a picture of what you think is beautiful whenever you get the chance. I'd have loved to have been on a sandy beach on the west side of the island when taking these two pictures but should I really put the camera away just because I'm not in the ideal spot? I don't think so!

The sun hasn't quite set yet, the higher cirrus clouds are only showing a hint of sunset colours but the lower clouds glow yellow/orange.

Fifteen minutes later the sun has set but the high clouds in the distance are illuminated by the reddened sunlight. The lower clouds are now in shadow.


Zuzana said...

I love these. They are very similar to our spring and autumn sunsets, when the sun is setting on a cloudy sky. I always enjoy when clouds are present on the sky during the "magic" hour as the effect is more dramatic.;)

Unknown said...

These are special photos of sunsets and I am glad I stopped over to check them out from Protege's site! :D

Unknown said...

Aloha, Tom:
I _am_ obsessed by sunsets, and these photos are very good indeed. There is something so special about a sunset... I think it makes an ordinary day special.
Best, Nina Lytton

Tom said...

Protege (Zuzana - sorry, not sure what to call you these days!). I agree, you need clouds to make those beautiful sunsets. A mixture of low and high clouds is the best as it gives you contrast between dark and light as well as colours.

Michael - thanks so much for popping by and for your very kind comment! As Protege knows I take a whole bunch of sunset photos, usually from the summit of Mauna Kea, so please do feel welcome to pop by again one day! I see you're in Arizona which is one of my favourite places in the world!

Nina - thank you for popping by as well, and I love your sunset shots too, especially as they often come from the Saddle Road on the island where I don't tend to see too many sunsets!


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