Friday, August 29, 2008


I think sunsets are over-photographed. It's easy to understand why that is, but I don't think the beauty of a sunset can ever be truly captured in a picture. One thing I love, though, is the way they change moment to moment. Sometimes what looks like it will be a spectacular solar show fizzles out into gray, or a monochromatic sky can suddenly light up and dazzle you.

Mostly, I love the light at sundown. A setting sun provides beautiful warm light for any subject to the east, or interesting silhouettes and backlighting for anything to the west. The long shadows give photos extra depth as well.

Framing also plays a roll in what "your" sunset looks like on film, as does zooming, your angle to the sun... I guess like most things, a photo of a sunset is purely subjective.

If you have the patience to stay for the entire thing, you end up with a series of photos that probably look like they were all taken on different nights. All of the photos in this post were taken on the same night, from the same perch on a dunegrass-y knoll on Elberta Beach by Lake Michigan.

The order here is the same order in which they were taken— you can clearly see how much the light changes back and forth. Also, in some photos you can see the fog that slowly rose from the lake, whereas in others you cannot. That dark spot to the right of the picture above is the same boat from the first picture in this post.

Then again, maybe taking photos of sunsets is the closet I will ever be to a painter. I can live with that.

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