Sunsets. Is there anybody who doesn’t like ‘em?
Even in ancient times, when folks believed the sun was being devoured by a giant monster, they must have thought ‘by gosh, that’s pretty’.
Try gazing at one when tripping on magic mushrooms or truffles, and you may just be overcome with beauty — I mean, they’re trippy enough if you’re stone cold sober. Whether bouncing off a sparkling ocean, or making the most industrial of skylines look romantic, all who gaze upon them feel like they’re starring in a movie of their own lives. ‘I can do anything’, they think, ‘the world is beautiful’ and ‘where’s my phone? I wanna take a picture!’
What Is ‘Capture The Sunset Week?’
And, whaddya know? The 3rd full week every July is officially ‘Capture The Sunset Week’.
Why a whole week, and not a day you might ask? Well, as they put it at heinztrust.org;
“Sunsets are one of nature’s prettiest pictures, but not every night produces a brilliant tapestry of color at sunset. As a result, we need a full week of watching sunsets, in hopes of catching one or two brilliant, magnificent sunsets.”
The coolest thing about the event (apart from that it encourages you to get outdoors) is that almost anyone can take part. As long as you have a camera you can do it!
But in case you wanna optimise your photography skills for this sundrenched week, here are some top tips before you get started. But don’t fear, these are tips for the humble camera phone, no ‘ISOs’ or ‘apertures’ here (though if you are hunkering down with a ‘serious’ camera situation — we salute you!)
How To Capture The Sunset On A Phone Camera – Top Tips
- Locate the sun: it may seem obvious, but before you set up in your chosen spot check the sun’s setting time and where it will actually be. An app called PhotoPills helps you track the sun’s path, so you can be ready waiting for it! (other sun tracking technology is available!)
- Pick your scenery: What else do you want to capture in your shot? Photos where the sunset is reflecting on a body of water are always stunning. Imagine most objects in your foreground will become silhouettes, so pick something that will look effective, like a jagged tree or a church steeple. Whatever tickles your fancy really! Maybe you want a bunch of pals to stand and create cool shapes. Having people in the photo for scale can enhance the size and majesty of the sunset.
- Line it up: for most sunset photos you want to keep the bottom of the frame in line with the horizon line. This is a natural line to keep your pics steady.
- Adjust: once you’ve taken a few snaps try adjusting your phone brightness to see if you can improve your image. If you are shooting a silhouette you can reduce the brightness, or if you are shooting away from the light you can increase brightness.
- Experiment: Try different angles, play around, shoot from below, get your pals to jump about and make shapes. Whatever you like! Take lots of pictures so you can pick the best ones.
- Enjoy the sunset: don’t get too distracted playing celestial paparazzi! Remember to drink in the beautiful show Mother Nature is putting on for you. Bring a blanket, some snacks, perhaps a flask of magic truffle tea to really enhance the moment. Beautiful!
Top 5 Stunning Sunsets
Ok, now you’ve got the skills — how about some inspo? We’ve picked our top 5 most stunning sunset spots around the world. Of course, every sunset is gorgeous, but we just like collecting pretty pictures for you ok? So buckle down! Cos as philosopher Bernard Williams said;
“It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream.”
The Serengeti, Tanzania
So, let’s start with the big guns. What could be more stunning than a Serengeti sunset? When the sun goes down on this part of Tanzania, the vast skies above the plains glow incredible shades of red, pink and orange. The sparse landscape is ideally for soaking up as much sky as possible. And if that sky happens to be crossed with the silhouette of a passing giraffe or elephant — then buddy what more could you dream of? Well, maybe Mufasa’a head appearing and giving you some sage advice… (magic truffles could help with that one…!)
The Canals of Amsterdam
Call us biased if you want, but we think the Netherlands is world-class when it comes to sunsets. You may have heard of ‘Dutch Light’ (or Hollands Licht), a mythical light quality that when captured by artists in oils, gave rise to the Golden Age of Painting in the 16th and 17th century. The glowing light-quality apparently occurred due to the Netherlands’ unique location next to the water. Some people now debunk the theory, but we cannot deny that Dutch skies have the ability to illuminate themselves in vibrant pinks like no other. The naturally flat lands on the Netherlands make it perfect to enjoy the sun disappearing over the horizon, but our favourite Dutch sunset has to be when the embers of the day illuminate the quaint canals of Amsterdam.
And, if you happen to be in Amsterdam, it would be almost rude not to crown the experience with a touch of magic — be it truffles or shrooms. 😉
The Grand Canyon, Arizona
North America has a world class selection of sunsets. From California to Texas, when the sun goes down you have to admit everything is bigger in the USA — even the sky! But if we have to narrow it down to one, we’re gonna be as OTT as possible. The Grand Canyon — already one of the most mind boggling sights in the world — imagine that spliced with a heavenly light show of oranges, pinks, yellows, reds and purples. Running 446km along the state of Arizona, the deep canyon gives a glimpse of ancient rocks that tell the story of the formation of the land. The native Pueblo people considered it a holy site, and it is pretty darn easy to see why — it is truly a staggering view.
The Blood Red Sun, Northern Iceland
Now for a bit of a paradox. Some of the world’s most amazing sunsets — in a land where the sun doesn’t set?! Yes, of course we are talking about Iceland, specifically the northern part, which is famed for its ‘midnight sun’. The midnight sun takes place throughout summer, where the sun sets around midnight, and even then, barely. It basically never gets dark! That doesn’t stop the sun from putting on a light show like no other. The norths of Iceland are famed for their blood red sunsets, a deep scarlet splashing across the sky — talk about fire and ice!
Borobudur Temple, Java
Indonesia is another country whose beauty needs no introduction. To many who visit, the beaches of Bali are tantamount to heaven. One sunset that is especially desirable to ‘capture’ is over the famed Borobudur Temple — both the largest and oldest Buddhist temple in the world. Located on the island of Java, it covers 2,520m2, with intricately carved reliefs and a structure in three parts, representing the 3 worlds or ‘spheres’ of Buddhist spirituality. When the setting sun illuminates this hallowed scene, you may just think you have reached Nirvana itself…
What’s Your Favourite Sunset Spot?
We hope this list has given you some inspo for your own Capture The Sunset Week! Any sunset is beautiful, whether it’s in your backyard or Barbados. And it’s only ever made better with the added glow from some magic mushrooms or truffles!
Where’s your favourite sunset spot? Let us know in the comments below!