Monday, August 29, 2011

Staring at the sun...

If you are brave (or silly) enough to follow my ramblings on Twitter you may have noticed I have a penchant for photographing sunsets.

We are very lucky to live on top of a big hill.

Actually, I say lucky, but doesn't always feel like it when I have to struggle up said hill with a rucksack, two bags of shopping and a stroppy toddler who doesn't want to walk anymore. But I digress...

Although we live on a modern housing estate our house is right on the edge and at one of the highest points so, from our bedroom window, we can see over the rooftops of the houses below us, across the Forest of Dean and westward into Wales. The view was one of the reasons we compromised on location and type of house we bought (well that, and the price. Beggars - and first-time buyers - can't really afford to be choosers!)  and I love watching the progress of the sun across the sky through the seasons.

Through the winter months it sets to the southwest and the view that way is mainly rooftops. As the days lengthen towards the Spring Equinox the sun sets steadily further west until the view of sunset, due west at the equinox, is uninterrupted.

Spring Equinox sunset

From then it moves northwesterly, dropping behind the Brecons on the horizon, to midsummer before heading back, due west for the Autumn Equinox, then disappearing southwards behind rooftops for the winter.
Every sunset is different and even on the evenings when the sun is obscured by clouds, the vast expanse of sky can look pretty spectacular as the light changes from day to dusk to night.

...and you don't always have to capture the actual sun to capture the atmosphere of a late summer sunset...

But going back through my digital photo collection it would seem that the best sunsets by far - or at least the most captured ones - occur around this time of year.

Early August

Late August

You do have to be quick though. This series of pictures were taken within less than 2 minutes as the sun dipped below the horizon...

Sometimes, by the time I have grabbed my camera, raced upstairs and opened up the window, the sun itself has vanished. This is not always a bad thing...


taken early September last year
Once the fire of the sunset has faded, it's worth hanging about a bit. If it's the right time in the lunar cycle you might catch a magical glimpse of the two days past new moon, just before it, too, drops below the horizon.

If you want to see some more, I have blogged other sunset pictures here (one of my all-time favourites - this picture is going to find itself turned into a canvas and hanging on the wall as soon as I can afford it! ) and here. As I never tire of the view and staring at the evening sun, I am sure there will be many more to come.

p.s. This post was inspired by the lovely Fi at Childcare is Fun who actually really did want to see the other 20 odd pictures I took one sunset a week or so back...


  1. Love, love, love this!

    Thank You!

  2. We live quite high on a hill too and my phone is full of sunset pictures, stormy skies, wispy clouds, all with a hint of the rooftops below. If I could just jump a little higher it would include the sea too!

  3. Half my comment disappeared! Was meant to include 'Stunning photos too!'


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