Turning Your Back on the Sunset

We are accustomed to shooting with our backs to the sun. But at sunrise and sunset, we tend to do just the opposite, and shoot images of the colors in the sky.  With the right landscape, that can produce some very satisfying images. Here’s an example of such a shot, from Tuscany in the Wintertime. TuscanWinter3-1

And yet, there is a sameness to such images, usually depending on clouds, or silhouetted trees, hills or buildings, to provide the visual interest to accompany the colors. The alternative is to turn your back on the sunset, and see if more creative options may await you in the direction you haven’t been looking. The image below was taken moments after the one above, and while it is less of the iconic sunset shot, it certainly has more of a story to offer. TuscanWinter2-1

The way the sunset colors wrap all the way around the horizon offers subtle color even in the opposing direction. The arched glass window above the door and the brass door bell show just a snatch of the reflected sunset to add further color. At the same time an entire domestic scene of the door, the bench, and the many plants tells a compelling story in the foreground, while a much more detailed landscape fills the background, given the better lighting in this direction.

C. David Tobie


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