I first began photographing this natural phenomenon about 30 years ago where we summered on the shores of picturesque Lake Huron, an area renowned for some of the world's most glorious sunsets. Yet, no matter what, the end result never quite did justice to the amazing depth and colour of the vision that had been displayed before me. Night after night we sat out on the rocks at the end of the pier and waited for, not just the heavenly performance, but for something extra that might set a photo apart from others.
In the years since, there have been many sunsets caught by my lens. Ironically, one of my favourites really had been entirely focused on another subject. The end of that particular day found my little grandson and me down on the beach at a family cottage. He was taking great pleasure in seeking out little treasures along the rocky shoreline, while I took great pleasure in photographing his every move.
As day darkened, I suddenly became aware of the pinking of the sky. Where typically we see vibrant oranges and reds, this one was all gentle hues and tones, a definitely different sunset than I'd grown accustomed to there. At this point, having enjoyed my young explorer's antics for quite some time, I begged his indulgence and asked him to stop for a few minutes. Plunking himself on a large rock, he glanced to the side, an indulgently tolerant expression on his adorable face and I took the picture. Highlighted by the still blue water and soft pastel shades of the twilight sky behind, this photo had a wonderful mood, and held proud place in my home until my grandson, now a teenager, thought perhaps it was time for an update.
I got lucky that day, helped by the right place at the right time. But there are tips and tricks that can guide you on your way to some of the best sunset — and sunrise — photos you'll ever take. Here are just a few informative websites I found:
Digital Photography School 12 Tips for Photographing Stunning Sunrises and Sunsets
wikiHow Photograph a Sunset
Camera Settings for Dummies Sunset Photos
Digital Camera World Best Settings for Shooting Sunsets
Improve Photography 30 Sunset Photography Tips
Nikon Shooting Spectacular Sunrises and Sunsets
Photographing Sunrises and Sunsets
How To: Photograph Sunsets
ePHOTOzine Top Ten Sunset Photography Tips and Tricks