Predicting good sunset?

Discussion in 'Landscape' started by ezwriter, May 7, 2012.

  1. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    Can't say how many time I've been in the mts and nice clouds, nice red sun going down. Then poof, the sun just goes down.
    Some days no clouds, no nice sunset.
    Some days great big white clouds, boring sunset.

    Any way to predict when theres going to be a nice big orange,red,yellow,...sunset we all like?
    What produces one? thanks
    ez
     
  2. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    When Mount St Helen went and blew her top, apparently there were spectacular sunsets around the globe. Maybe the amount of high level dust particles has an effect - In which case, when the fire season starts, get the camera out.
     
  3. jesterthejedi

    jesterthejedi Member

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    Move to New Mexico, problem solved. lol
     
  4. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Member

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    On-coming storms or just-clearing storms are fairly good indicators.
     
  5. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I think this is a great question, and I've often wondered the same thing. There's never been any kind of pattern that I've been insightful enough to notice.

    I wonder if your local conditions are as important as say, the conditions 50 miles to the West.
     
  6. ROL

    ROL Member

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    You want my secret!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? How will I possibly sell all my beautiful sunsets with you in the game?

    Oh, that's right, I shoot B/W, and don't compete on that level, or any other apparently.

    So, here's the deal. Atmospheric aerosol pollutants (i.e., volcanic dust, forest fire smoke, etc.) will assist greatly with scattering of longer wavelengths (i.e., reds), when present. The best sunsets can be predicted (but not fool–p(r)oof) when a layer of cirrus or stratoform clouds are "over" the sky of the setting or rising sun – which will be where you aren't – and interesting clouds of any kind are present from the direction of the horizon to your location to reflect the colored light. This situation arises prior to or upon clearing of "storms", at least in the mid–latitudes, as others have indicated.

    Caveat: I don't play a "weatherman" on TV, I'm only an atmospheric scientist.
     
  7. Tom Hensley

    Tom Hensley Member

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    I love atmospheric scientists! Ok, so how could an aspiring sunrise / sunset photographer, make practical use of the information that you provided? Are there indications on a weather map that would indicate the correct type of clouds over a specific region east / west, rise / set respectively? About how far east / west from current location would likely be the region to look for indications on the maps?

    I've long wondered what causes a "good" sunset or sunrise. Often, the conditions look the same from the naked eye on both a bland and spectacular day. This certainly helps me but the answers to the above questions might help all of us put the knowledge to good use.
     
  8. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Use a Graduated ND filter + Velvia 50?
     
  9. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    Here along the front range in Colorado, it seems that in the winter we have great sunrises and in the summer we have great sunsets. One problem is that so many days are nearly cloudless and the skies get really boring.
     
  10. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Member

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    Storms are the bomb...
     
  11. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Im more interested in predicting sunrises, I hate getting up before sunrise drive to a spot then go bugger and turn around to go home because the sunrise was a fizzer. At least with a sunset your already up.
     
  12. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The season, weather (prevailing atmospherics e.g. stable warm to hot weather, approaching change, upper level troughs...), atmospheric pollution and timing all play crucial roles. This past summer here in Victoria, Australia has been patently lousy for sunrise and sunset photography. Almost always put down to prevailing unsuitable weather conditions e.g. lingering bands of cloud at the horizon, sea fog, dust or smoke from bushfires/burning off.

    Deserts and isolated beaches with large tracts of ocean can be good places to predict powerful sunset and sunrise, but you must do your research on sunrise and sunset times. Full moon times have usually provided me with excellent opportunities to fit subject to sunset but less frequently sunrises: I'm usually tucked up in my sleeping bag when the sun bobs up, LOL! :tongue:

    Going out there with a preconceived idea of what you will come back with is bound to disappoint you. Personally I favour the outback or northern latitudes (in Australia) for sunrise and sunsets. In the south, at this time getting close to winter, sunsets are poor.

    • Sunset, Norman Bay, Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria, February 1988 ©
    (Kodachrome 200 tranny; Canon T90 w/FD 28-105 f3.5; this night marked the end of a prolonged hot spell and it was much cooler on following days.)

    WilsonsPromFeb1988.png


    • Nine years later, in the same place...

    WilsonsPromSunset1997.jpg

    Yup! You gotta have patience in this game... :laugh:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2012
  13. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    To find incredible sunsets, always have B&W film in the camera and no color film on your person.:D
     
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  15. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    :laugh:

    Or better yet, just no camera at all.
     
  16. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    .
    Isn't There An App For That ?

    Ron
    .
     
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  17. ataim

    ataim Member

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    For me it’s a 70% success rate. What I look for are high clouds with a clearhorizion. That way the rising sun can illuminate the bottom of the clouds. I normally try to be at the site at least30-45 minutes before sunrise. But sometimes when on vacation you just have to take what you can get:sad:
     

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  18. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Isn't there a filter or PS action for that?

     
  19. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Proximity to a recently erupted volcano helps ensure dramatic color. After Mt. St. Helens erupted we had spectacular sun set/rise for quite some time!
     
  20. akaa

    akaa Subscriber

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  21. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The sunsets in Bodie California, a ghost town in arrested decay, are quite often spectacular, however the sun rises are not very good because the sun is well up before it emerges from behind the mountains. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodie,_California http://www.bodie.com/

    The sunrises on Haleakala, Muai, Hawaii are definitely worth getting up early and driving up 10,023 feet (3055 m) above sea level to see. http://www.nps.gov/hale/index.htm
     
  22. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Move to New Mexico?
     
  23. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Member

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    Yes... all that dust pollution adds to the "atmosphere" of sunsets. But you must get far away from Santa Fe... too many other "artists" crowding the good spots.:tongue:
     
  24. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20496048_3,00.html ^_^

    If you want the good stuff, gotta go up to Farmington over by the San Juan Coal plant. Now those are sunsets!
     
  25. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    ... almost as good as a volcano eruption, huh!
     
  26. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Even better because we control it! All you have to do is turn on your lights and air conditioning and boom, best sunsets ever.