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Sunsets are for rookies

Slow down. Look around.
It would take three lifetimes to see the wonder that is permanently around us; we ignore most of it.

Evening sky looking straight up at the clouds as they catch the sun's last light. (in B&W)

The good ol' days

When the kids were younger, we spent many a summer on the eastern shores of Lake Huron and its world-famous sunsets. We witnessed hundreds of them, and the show never disappointed. When I began to get serious with photography, I learned of the "Golden Hour," the half hours before and after sunset when the natural light is at its best. . This is the perfect time of day for photographers as the sunlight softens. Shadows get long. and interesting to the point where you find so much more than just the setting sun.

Change the channel and enjoy the show.

The next time you marvel at a sunset, try looking around. Notice the trees behind you as they glow orange from top to bottom from a giant spotlight. Look up at the clouds and notice as the white changes to shades of grey, orange, red and eventually blue. Notice how the sky changes colour looking north, east and south. Look down and see the long shadows cast by stones, trees, and grass. Finally, notice the warm glow of the people around you. Do they somehow seem friendlier?

Perception is everything

If I had left the photo above in colour, you would have seen clouds fringed in orange, and a blue sky, thought: "oh, a sunset, how nice," and moved on. I hope the lack of colour will allow you to see shapes and textures you may have otherwise missed. If you stare at it long enough, things will "pop" out at you.

Mother nature can put on some fantastic shows, but the small and seemingly insignificant part of the natural world can be far more fulfilling. So don't just look at it; see it.

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