I have always loved a good sunrise or sunset within an image as I feel that the sky is an intricate part of a great landscape shot. Now when I was first really getting into landscape photography I was still of the mindset of a normal human being, and that was to rise and be out shooting when the rest of humanity was awake. I found that by keeping those hours with my camera I was in locations that I wanted to photograph, but so were many other people. So I learned to scout out locations in the daylight, and then get back to those locations in the early morning hours as I found that VERY few people will make the effort to be out before the sun comes up.
Now getting up early on the weekends is easy for me to do since my “day job” requires me to be up by 3:30am to be getting ready so I can be at work by 6am. Though as I’ve gotten older (I’m on the other side of 50 now) I have found that getting out of the front door before the sun is up is becoming harder to do at about this time of the year due to the drop in temperatures as winter arrives. I live in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains on the outskirts of Shenandoah Valley, so the overnight temps are usually in the low 20’s to teens (Fahrenheit) which doesn’t entice me to be outside in the dark. The biggest problem I face in regards to the temps is that for my day job I work outside and I have to deal with the temps 40+ hours a week and on the weekends I just don’t have the hutzpah to put on layers of clothes and freeze my “arse” off while hoping Mother Nature is kind, so these old(er) bones would love some Florida temps this time of year.
This has left me with a photography conundrum, “What do I do when I want to get out and shoot some landscape photography”? I have relegated that this side of 50 years old means that once Thanksgiving is over, I must start thinking about… sunsets!
My thinking is that since the sun sets around 5pm, most people are #1 eating dinner, #2 not wanting to be outside anyway since the average person is wanting to stay warm and thinking about eating dinner. So it’s a win win for me since my wife and I usually eat early, and I am dedicated enough that temps in the 30’s/40’s are better than temps in the 20’s and teens.
I am going to try this thought process this winter and see what magic I can find with sunset shooting.
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-Thanks for reading!!