Sunrises and Sunsets ———————————————- 1st October 2014
I can never decide which one appeals to me more … the beginning of a new day, a fresh start to everything, a new chance to do it all better … or … at the end where you get to shelve all your cares, hang up your hat and reflect … renew.
In any case, sunrise and sunset are the favourite times of day for most people, especially landscape photographers. We would drive for hours to get to that “spot”, then sit for as long as it takes through mosquito bites, disagreeable weather and many disappointing days where the light isn’t quite right… all for that moment that makes it all worth it.
The shot on the left was taken one morning before 6 am on the East Coast of Trinidad, on a very rough beach called Rampanalgas Bay or known by the locals (and surfers) as Dead Man’s Cove. It’s one of my happy places because of its purview of scenic areas along the beach. I have shot it for years and always find something there with new appeal.
I remember the drive getting there that morning … the mad rushing, eyes almost fixated on the sky which at one point was awash with grey, threatening to burst into rain and then I got there … and the colours started unfolding and it was all worth the mix of expletives and prayers along the way. When I look at the photo, it still reminds me of getting out of the car and hearing the sea pounding into the sand, spraying in all directions and the mad dash to conceal camera from salt water, the sprays making the already cold morning …colder and then … within minutes of the sun rising, the extreme heat that hit, didn’t even feel like it crept up, it was just sudden. Mere moments and the glory of it all was over, making way for bluer skies, with the hint of more threatening clouds in the distance.
On the right is one of my most photographed places, especially for sunset… simply because it’s not only the closest accessible West location (15 minutes from my house) but because there is something extra magical about the sun and sea coming together, at any time of the day! I have had many talks with the fishermen and was not surprised to learn that they don’t notice the colours anymore (no matter the time). One guy said “it just means the work changes or time to leave yuh know”.
By the way that is one of my tips if you are out to get a good shot. Safety first is always the priority and to me a big part of that is being at very least courteous to the people there, after all you are stepping into their domain. It goes a longer way than you will imagine. Always be aware of your surroundings though and never feel so comfortable that you lose that awareness. Yes, these moments are few and gone as quickly as they appear, but don’t glue your eyes to the back of the camera … the first reason why not (listed above) is awareness and the second most important (for me at least), there is nothing quite like simply enjoying this moment that you are witnessing… sometimes we shoot and shoot and never take the time to inhale all this beauty presented and what it might mean to us in the grand scheme of things. Do you just want a pretty picture or can you also truly enjoy the splendour of this “great-to-be-alive” moment? Is there connection and meaning to it? What are you really seeing and want to portray? Sometimes that thought process itself can change your final output.
So until tomorrow, I wish you beauty in the form of colourful sunrises and sunsets and all the beautiful blues and hues in between … may the day deliver you both new beginnings and the opportunity to bring closure to others …