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August 07/14, 2017
Chasing The Light - Are You A Sunrise Person or A Sunset Person?
Being an early morning person has probably shaped my penchant for sunrises. It was not until moving to the White Mountains of Arizona did this realization strike with such a moving force. At that time the only job available to me was as a part-time graphic artist at Insta-Prints. The job usually did not start until 10:00 or 12:00 noon, depending on the amount of work available.
What could this shooter do with all that morning time? Take a walk. Before the sun came up. In the summer, that was around 4:30 to 5:00 am. As the earth tilted with seasonal change the time slowly stretched later and later.
Did not matter. It was still early morning. Not too many people around heading off to work down Burton Road in Linden, AZ at that hour. Throwing the camera over the shoulder, walking out the door with Brownie, and a walking stick in hand, off we went.
The weather was not a concern, especially in Arizona. One always hoped for a cloudy, but not overcast morning. Anytime clouds were available each sunrise became a unique opportunity to photograph amazingly marvelous color.
Seasonal change did play a part in the intensity and type of color rendered. Summer colors are warmer, yellow/orange, red. Winter and Fall colors are more intense and vibrant, reds, fire yellow, and deep orange, almost red. Spring mirrored Autumn to some extent.
Winter also offered the cold blue colors before sunrise. This shift always presented a singular time to record the strange, mysteriously blue monochromatic landscape. Every winter morning rendered a different shade of blue, depending upon whether the sky was clear, without clouds, or overcast or cloudy.
The sunrise itself? Not so exciting. The colors refracting/reflecting off of the clouds and atmosphere were the goal, the sparkling, emotional, and intense colors this shooter anticipated.
One came to understand that either sunrise or sunset offered an approximate window of 15 to 20 minutes of shooting time before the sun rose or after it fell over the horizon. This was the magic time when startling images were sought and recorded.
As stated earlier, being a morning person one has not had many occasions for sunsets. By late afternoon most energy for the day has been spent. However, that has not always been the case, nor will it be always true in the future.
Time and circumstance change everything according to one’s place in life. As far as sunsets are concerned, there have been some stunning and speechless times of day as our majestic home rotates the sun out of sight. But wait...
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The best light is after every last discernible ray of light no longer strikes earth’s curvature enough to be seen. The clouds have it, as always. Time of year, in each season, will capture those rays, curve them, bend them and refract such awe it can be without description.
Words fail. Our minds must remember, must record, must burn images inside us, and bring permanence into these sunset moments. More people like, and prefer sunsets because they are awake and their day has concluded.
Seeing sunsets more frequently, especially fascinating ones, soothes the mind, brings an emotional context of peaceful feelings, as people realize this beautiful occurrence. Stimulating the correct brain cells, and firing those neurons bring an easy pleasure we like to repeat. More sunsets.
That’s this shooter’s take on sunsets. As explained earlier, more pleasure is found in the quiet world when no one is awake when dust has settled, and all is at rest. Waiting for a new day, a new life, a new opportunity to experience whatever comes this way. That is the excitement of a sunrise.
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