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How can I tell if a Sunset will be spectacular, or subdued?


28 May 2017 10:45PM
Tonight, I looked out of my kitchen window to see a spectacular red Sunset, which is my personal favourite. I don't see it all that often. I felt dismayed that I was missing it, but I did at least get a few shots from upstairs. Smile

Could anyone advise me on how to accurately know how good the Sunset will be? I know that if there is complete cloud cover, or lots of clouds, then obviously the Sunset will be forgettable, as most, or all of the light is being stifled by the clouds. Are there any good website guides on what to look for? I'd like to improve my knowledge to work towards greater understanding of Sunsets, so i can have a better idea of what to expect before the main event.

Thank you to all for your replies on this post and my previous post about photo hides.

Steven

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Chris_L 6 5.5k United Kingdom
29 May 2017 12:46AM
Plenty of clouds apart from at the horizon and cross your fingers.
JJGEE 15 7.8k 18 England
29 May 2017 6:09AM
More often than not when the conditions for a sunset, sunrise or any other great light do not look likely then that is when it happens !

Possibly the only option is to go out somewhere and take a chance.

At least one is getting some fresh air / exercise and not sat in front of a computer monitor or doing the washing up in the kitchen Wink

A subdued sunset is OK as well, subtle pastel colours can look OK as well as those intense, vibrant ones.
sherlob Plus
14 3.1k 129 United Kingdom
29 May 2017 10:15AM
There are many factors to consider, but much still feels to come down to luck. I'm currently on a free 30day trial of skyfire for the photographers empharesis (TPE), it's now available for europe and I have read some good reports for its use in the States so fingers crossed - at 28/year for a subscription it's not that cheap. I posted to the forum about this yesterday to see if anyone else was using it.



Ross_D 6 841 1 United Kingdom
29 May 2017 10:52AM
As others have said I think it's down to persistence and luck !! IMO, I think the best opportunity for spectacular sunsets (in the UK) is in autumn/ winter.

I've lost count over the years of how many times I've set off to capture a decent (coastal) sunset only to find that the sun just disappears behind a bank of clouds.

The real pain though is when you think nothing is going to happen so you pack all your kit away and suddenly the western sky erupts (briefly !!) in a blaze of colour !!Sad
That said, if it was predictable it would be less of a challenge.

29 May 2017 11:47AM
Watch the weather forecasts. If heavy rain is forecast then there is no chance, if the forecast for the following day is good then depending on the forecast for the preceding day i.e. 'clearing in the afternoon' is good then your chances of a good sunset are higher. But I agree with Ross - October and November seem to produce the most memorable sunsets. Also if the weather is set on a fine spell then going out around the golden hour (about an hour before 'sunset' time) will give you good light and who knows what else!
30 May 2017 9:00PM
I do remember such a situation when I thought I had seen the best off the Sunset! I had packed up and I was heading home, until I saw the gorgeous colours behind me, which prompted me to quickly set my camera up again to capture the scene before it was too late!

The real pain though is when you think nothing is going to happen so you pack all your kit away and suddenly the western sky erupts (briefly !!) in a blaze of colour !!Sad
That said, if it was predictable it would be less of a challenge.


30 May 2017 9:01PM
Thank you to all for your input. I will try and bare in mind what you have said for future.

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