Advanced Studio Practice 2a – Research into Sunset Photography, Concept and Reasoning

Research Sunset Photography, Concept (see research folder features: ancient sun worship, use of colour and geographical elements and the modern aesthetic, steps to the perfect sunset: outcome 1)


When thinking of the sun at its lowest point in the sky just before dusk, one immediately conjure up in our imaginations a whole series of spectacular rays of rich light filling the sky with colours lighting up the world with a naturally beautiful phenomena. Our ancestors were obsessed with the sun (the Ancient Greeks, the Eqyptians (see research folder learning outcome two: F Ahmad: June 2010 and S Bray Feb 2014 – ‘Ancient Sun Worship and Escaping the Sunrise and Sunset Cliche’).

Cosmological/Spiritual Belief:

I concur with the opinions of Bray and Ahmad that there is a ”cosmological and spiritual belief” attached to how the Earth and Sun revolved which was identified by Pythagoreans.


Artists and musicians have been influenced in their compositions, often reflecting and referencing the sunrise and sunset as a metaphorical interpretation of time. Indeed, I have used this style of referencing in my own ongoing exhibition ‘Perceptions of Time’ which focus on abstract sunrises and sunsets as a central part of the exhibition. In compositions by musical artists some have attempted to understand and relate these equal times of day to examine concepts such as missed opportunities. i.e. Elton John’s ‘Don’t let the sun go down on me’.

”I can’t light no more of your darkness
All my pictures seem to fade to black and white
I’m growing tired and time stands still before me
Frozen here on the ladder of my life
Too late to save myself from falling
I took a chance and changed your way of life
But you misread my meaning when I met you
Closed the door and left me blinded by the light
Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
But losing everything is like the sun going down on me”
Music: Elton John
Lyrics: Bernie Taupin

Try using an infrared filter?

Through investigation and experimentation I have looked at the possibility of using an infrared filter such as a Hoya R72, I have also attempted to try out a non-traditional white balance setting. Also, if you have shot in RAW, once you get to the post processing phase, you can have some fun altering the white balance of your images to change the mood of your shots. Please refer to the images below for examples of changes to white balance settings:

An example of the cloudy white balance setting – f/8 1/60th of a second, with an ISO of 100 28mm lens

An example of the tungsten white balance setting – f/8 1/60th of a second, with an ISO of 100 28mm lens

test test 2

By keeping a diary of key times of year when sunsets are at their best in a particular area (see proposal techniques section and folder for more information), it is possible to record a series of images that any photographer would be pleased with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s