South China Sea Sunset

With a spectacular array of colours, a sunset is hard to ignore. Keith Wilson recalls one equatorial evening on medium format and wonders why landscape and travel photographers differ in their opinion about the sunset’s significance to their work

In terms of the sheer number of photographs taken at any time around the world, sunsets must be the most popular subject for the camera. The reason for this attraction is simple: the colours that transform the night sky are often spectacular, and no matter where you are in the world your day will finish with a sunset. (Unless of course you are at polar latitudes during the summer when the sun doesn’t set at all for many weeks!) For landscape photographers, a sunset is like the immovable side show that pushes onto centre stage, displacing the ‘golden hour’ when the lovely, amber glow of the sun’s descent provides the perfect warming light for the view beyond. But when the sun hits the horizon, it is time to turn the camera around and make an entirely different composition.
For travel photographers, the sun has a greater symbolic significance because it is the...

Read this article, and many more, in High Definition, inside Issue 21 of Landscape Photography Magazine.

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About Author

Keith Wilson

Keith Wilson is the founder of both Outdoor Photography and Black + White Photography magazines and former editor of Amateur Photographer. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and on-line tutor in travel photography at My Photo School.

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