Blazing red sunsets, rainbow skies, dark silhouettes and pastel hues. All of these beautiful elements combine to make one of the most stunning features of the evening sky – the sunset. If you’ve never watched the sun setting over rolling countryside, perhaps this summer is the time to do it. It’s a really special moment when you spot an unexpected sunset, and it’s even more of an adventure to go out looking for a sunset and trying to capture it in a photograph. But it’s not just the gorgeous colours and inspirational scene that makes sunsets so special. Oh and for the purpose of this blog post I’ve not edited any of these sunset photos, I think natural is already beautiful enough! Read on to find out many more reasons why sunset is the best time of day. The cool down. After a scorching hot day – you know the type, where you have to shelter in the shade just to survive – the sunset comes as a relief. The warmth of the day is still in the air, so you can still wear your daytime dress, but the air cools down to that perfect ‘summer evening’ temperature. The setting sun is still on your face, but you don’t feel like you’re being burnt to a crisp. Seeing as I’m someone who easily burns, this is probably one of the main reasons why I like sunset so much – I can finally venture outside! Photography. Perhaps the most obvious reason that sunset is a great time of day is simply taking photos of it. The stunning colours and clear cloud formations make it much more easy to capture a sunset than a sunrise, or even a daytime sky. At other times of day, you can end up with too much light infiltrating your frame, so images are less clear and colours less vivid. With a sunset, there’s plenty of interesting features (such as silhouettes of rooftops and trees) you can capture against the sky, as well as bright deep colours that show up better on camera than watery daytime tones.Lights twinkle.
Just before the sunset, the sky goes a little darker blue and you can finally remove your sunglasses. It’s at this time of night that lights start to be turned on, and when you’re celebrating outdoors (at a wedding, festival or even just a summer BBQ) it’s when the fairy lights start to sparkle. It’s probably the time that any event looks its most magical – fairy lights and bunting silhouetted against a colourful sunset is mesmerising and makes you want to stay out all evening long. At the same time, houses look inviting with a warm glow inside open windows and people start to huddle around the campfire for warmth. It’s that special time of day when we all gather together and decide what the evening will bring. Are we heading to bed or out for more fun? It’s almost always the latter!
Golden hour. Again, this is another photography tip. It’s widely accepted that the ‘golden hour’ just before sunset is the best type of lighting for photographing portraits, pets and even landscapes. The light is so much softer than hard daylight, so shadows are less strong and highlights are not too bright. It helps a photographer to capture a more ‘real’ image that still has the warmth of summer but without a squinting subject! This is probably why you’ll often see the bride and groom sloping out of their wedding reception just before sunset – it’s a great time to take intimate portraits, and the photographer can also get a photo of the couple silhouetted against the sunset. Magical.
Seeing is believing. A sunset is one of those features that you simply have to see to appreciate. Like a rainbow, it’ll look different depending on where you view it from. There’s even a difference between our firey Suffolk sunsets in the east (setting over land) compared to the watery pastel sunsets in the west where the sun sets over the sea. When a sunset fills the sky and the colours are a combination you’ve never seen before, that moment is so special. And even if you try to capture it on camera, it’ll never be as breath-taking as seeing it ‘in real life’.
This blog post came about because I’ve been surprised by sunsets every day for over a month now. We tend to close our living room curtains before the sun sets (for privacy when we put the lights on more than anything) so when I wander through to the bedroom, with its curtains still open, I’m always surprised that there’s an amazing sunset going on out there without me knowing about it. I’m starting to enjoy the surprise, because I always forget from one day to the next, and it’s always a moment worth sharing. My husband is probably getting a bit tired of the nightly ‘come quick, there’s a sunset’ from me but we always try to pop outside and enjoy the sunset in its entirety.What is your favourite time of day? When and what do you like to photograph? Are you a sunset lover? Can you think of any other reasons why sunset is a great time of day? Let me know by leaving me comment below or tagging me in your sunset photos on Instagram @Cassiefairy I’d love to see your photos!