Predicting good sunset?
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
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.
Move to New Mexico, problem solved. lol
On-coming storms or just-clearing storms are fairly good indicators.
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.
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.
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?
Originally Posted by ROL
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.
Use a Graduated ND filter + Velvia 50?
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.