Every sunset is different. Some are fiery, others subtle. In some it’s the colour of the sky, in others it’s light reflecting off the clouds. Occasionally it’s the sheer height of the sky. They have moods – from angry to calm. They are an evolving event. For me, and I’m not alone I know, sunsets like sunrises have the power to lift one’s spirit.
The power of photography allows us to capture these wonderful sights and lock the memories in so that we can return to them again. In that way they are never lost.
The night before last was one of those occasions. Rain had threatened through the day but the showers had bypassed us. The sky was permanently disturbed: one moment there would be a brief shaft of sunlight, the next a squall of chilly wind and dark stormy clouds.
The rear of our house looks out over fields in a north-easterly direction. We were sitting in the lounge after supper and my wife spotted the sky: ‘you’d better get out there with your camera’
I didn’t need a second bidding. There was no time to jump in the car and go to find the ideal viewpoint. I was down the garden fast to grab the view. It wasn’t actually ‘Sunset’, it was the sky a few minutes before. The view extended over a wide area of the horizon, three times as wide as this image. The sun was far away to the left out of the picture casting light on these towering cumulus clouds on the right, with a bizarre lobster claw of cloud reaching out from the left side.
Four weeks ago I was watching the sky expecting a sunset and set out for a walk around the outskirts of our village to where I knew I would find a suitable foreground. But the ‘Sunset’ never materialized. The sun disappeared behind a cloud-bank – gone. The sky was one of those ‘mackerel’ skies composed of cirrocumulus clouds. I sensed something was going to happen up high as dusk approached. And sure enough it did.
I must have taken 20-30 images as the light changed and dusk approached. The colours were subtle and graded. The sky towering high. ‘Sunset’ may have been missed on this occasion but yet again the sky provided the after glow.
Which to like? A pointless question really – maybe it depends on your own mood on the day. But one thing is sure: you will never see another one exactly like it.