Caribbean Sunset

In Jan/Feb 2011 Elena and I taught a travel and quilt photography course while on a Caribbean cruise with the Electric Quilt Company and Deb Roberts’ Tours and World of Quilts Travels.

Every night, at around the same time, passengers on the ship would stop dead in their tracks, drop their conversations mid-sentence and stare. In their silence, I heard awe. (Or was that awe the Sounds of Silence? Then again, it could have been my anti-psychotic medication was getting low and I really was hearing sunset awe.)

Another sunset descended upon us. (And yes, it would have been strange if the sunset ascended in the evening. Now that would have created quite a bit of awe!) Sunsets do look lovely against the expanse of interrupted water.

This sunset image was taken last summer at Lake Pueblo, Colorado. Southeast Colorado has some of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen.

Lake Pueblo Colorado

Now to create a great sunset shot, it’s important to place the horizon line at either a one-third or two-third split of the entire shot. The most prominent feature you want to emphasize should be the larger part of the shot. In the cruise picture above, the water fills two-thirds of the frame, making it, and the sun’s reflection, the more important element of the shot.

If you want to emphasize the sky, as I did with the lake image, tilt the camera so it occupies about two-thirds of the space with one-third left for the land below.

Make sure the horizon line is straight. Nothing is more wonky or looks as strange in an image as a crooked horizon. (Actually, Mom told me there are some things far, far more strange you can see in images, but never did say what they were. I’ll have to trust she knows of what she speaks.)

With sunrise and sunset, shoot fast and shoot a lot. The light changes quickly and then you’re done until the sun goes up or down again (but never sideways, which would make for a truly strange but awesome image).