Travel Theme: Sunset

Ailsa’s travel theme this week is Sunset. How can I resist participating? I have been searching for the perfect photograph of a sunset since I first picked up a camera and I know that I will never capture it. But that is what is fun: it will continue to be a challenging pursuit.

I have hundreds of photographs of sunsets and it was lots of fun browsing through my catalog for examples. You didn’t think I’d only have just one, did you? I didn’t count, but I think after my first pass I had twice as many as my final selection. One rule I followed: no repeats. That meant that a few of my favorites are not included in this set. As far as I can tell, none of these have been posted here previously.

Many of my sunset shots have been taken at the beach. It’s one of my routines when I’m at the shore to go out every evening with my camera. The following sunset beach shots were taken in Southwest Florida:

My vacation view

Peaceful, deserted beach at sundown

Even the birds seem to gather looking for the flash of green when the sun dips below the horizon, before finding their last catch of the day.

Even windy, grey days at the beach offer suitable sunsets for photography.

Palm branches silhouetted against the setting sun

Not all island trips involve lazy days in the sand. A few years ago, I routinely worked in Hoboken, NJ. My office overlooked the Hudson, a terrific view of the island of Manhattan.  If I worked late, although I was facing East, I still had a sunset view. I would watch the New York skyline turn a golden color as the sun’s rays bounced off the water and reflected on the buildings. This shot, though, was taken from a rooftop garden in Manhattan, looking towards the GW Bridge and the NJ Palisades. I like that you can see that the lights are just starting to turn on.

Multi-hued sky and George Washington Bridge

Mountains also can offer a great view at sundown. When in North Carolina, you understand why the eastern ranges have names like The Blue Ridge or The Smokies. The hazy air makes for dreamy sunsets that look like they were painted by a watercolor artist who loved the color blue.

Blue Ridge Parkway, near Asheville, NC

Nearer to home, I took this shot last Spring while on a quick trip to West Lafayette, Indiana. I love the surreal look to the sky: dark clouds that are giving off no light, a sky that looks like it is in flames. I followed this sunset — or did it follow me? — for about 45 minutes. The sky was so vibrant! I hated to see it fade into the night.

Red Flame Sky, Inky Black Clouds

While I often wish that I was as aware of the setting sun when I am home as I am when I am traveling, that isn’t usually the case. While enjoying a little R & R it is so much easier to pay attention to the slow things in life, like sitting and watching the sun touch the water and then fade to a deep blueblack. That doesn’t mean that I never take photographs of sunset while at home. This one was taken from my dining room window:

The sun was screaming: Look at me!

Or this one, that I snapped with my phone as I was leaving the store a few nights ago. It stopped my in my tracks. A man parked near by looked at me oddly, wondering what I was doing waving my phone towards the sky. Isn’t it amazing? I asked him. When he shrugged, I felt pity for him that he did not see the beautiful show happening in the western sky.

Full spectrum sunset

20 responses to “Travel Theme: Sunset

  1. Pingback: Travel Theme: Silhouettes | Four Deer Oak

  2. Fabulous series of shots, Anne. The net in the top photo is really eye-catching, and the colours of the chairs on the beach shot are so beautifully delicate I can’t stop looking at it. xxx Ailsa

  3. Ow dear, these looks like paintings! So beautiful…

  4. Each of these is fabulous in its own way – a wonderful gallery for the challenge!

  5. love the chairs…wow

    • Thanks, Jo. I tried to get the chairs & the sunset several times during my vacation last January with mostly unsatisfactory results. I loved the idea of the abandoned chairs at the end of the day. In reality, where we vacation, although chairs are often left on the beach (despite the signs) for the staff to pick up, usually there are people seated in them as the sun descends. Everyone seems to disappear as soon as the burning ball of sun dips below the waves, but the colors are usually the prettiest afterwards. If I was forced to pick a favorite of this bunch, it would likely by this one.

  6. Wonderful views of the sunset. They are very colorful images.


  7. Wow, Anne, you’ve put together a wonderful collection – but the painting-like image from your dining room window is the shot that’s captured my heart 🙂

    • Thanks for your comments, Wanderlust. Isn’t that an amazing shot? I had overlooked it previously and was a bit taken aback when I stumbled upon it in my archive yesterday. My husband asked me if I had done a lot of editing of that one, but there was very little done. The more I look at it though, the more confused I am whether this is sunrise or sunset. I can’t quite figure out the angle (limbs have been removed, both by nature and by tree surgeons this summer) and I can’t decide if the angle is East or West.

  8. Anne, you are so right about needing to appreciate the color in our everyday lives. These photos a beautiful. My favorite is the second to the last–so rich!

    • Thanks, Naomi. I think I will make a point of watching the sunset this evening although during the summer months, the trees’ leaves shield much of the color.