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The Perfect Sunset13/06/2008 - 8:43 AM
The Perfect Sunset
Ever since I took up my old hobby, photography, again, there has been a daily time of restlessness for me. When the sun starts to come near the end of itīs daily cycle, I start looking for interesting clouds, colours and shapes in the west. The thing is, many objects and landscapes look their best in soft light. And the so-called "golden hours", the times at the beginning and at the end of the day, are the best times to catch things in soft light. And not only that, but many sunrises and sunsets also offer photographers the added bonus of interesting colours in the sky. At sunrise and sunset, skies can sometimes be quite spectacular.
Why are interesting objects so important, especially at the end of the day? Well, take a tree, for instance. A picture of a tree can be nice, but with simply a blue or cloudy sky behind and above it, a photo taken of a tree can be bland or even quite dull. Now imagine that same tree with a sky thatīs absolutely on fire with deep, rich colours. Can you see it? Isnīt that a lot more exciting than a simple shot during the day, with a simple sky?
Now, the trick is finding something that will make a nice silhouette against a sky with a sunset. You want to check whether such an object is really in the same direction as your sunset or sunrise will be. And whether it has an interesting shape. And you have to find these interesting objects before the sunset starts. Because if you have to do it once it has started, it will be a race against time - which you will often loose. The light just changes too quickly.
Shooting sunsets is a pursuit that gives many landscape photographers a sort of daily itch. And thatīs because heīs continually looking for that very elusive shot of The Perfect Sunset, that Holy Grail of sunset shooters.
There are only two ways to get rid of that daily restlessness, as far as I can see. You can finally find that perfect sunset and capture it perfectly, relax, and concentrate on other things after that. Or you can give up on perfect sunsets altogether and shoot other subjects.
I have found the latter to be the easiest solution. I do get that itch again, sometimes, especially when I see other peopleīs captures of perfect sunsets, but on the whole I am able to relax more now. It doesn't mean that I don't shoot any sunsets at all anymore. But I suppress the urge to do so a bit more than in the past. Just as well, too, because now I seem to see more different photographic subjects all around me than before!