During perhaps the most depressing month of the year, going through old summer photos offers a good escape. Compared to the greyness and darkness of November, especially colourful mid-summer sunset and sunrise photos present a vast contrast. Therefore, I decided to make a blog post on the subject of sunset/sunrise photography.

Last summer offered many beautiful sunsets and sunrises due to the mostly sunny and clear weather. One can certainly appreciate this after a rainy summer of 2012, when the horizon tend to be blocked by heavy clouds during most of the evenings. Among my favourite sailing moments are the offshore sunsets and sunrises, when one can see – if the horizon is clear – the ball rising from or setting to the sea. Especially, after a sleepless night at sea, a beautiful sunrise always boosts the spirit.

Sunrise from the sea

The setting sun is perhaps the most photographed, or in other words one the most worn-out subjects that one can come up with. Consequently, the problem is that it is hard to be very unique when taking a sunset photo. A boat sailing into the sunset is hardly an original subject, but with a different camera angle one can turn this to an interesting photo. Sometimes if the clouds are particularly colourful or interestingly shaped, just capturing the view of the sea horizon can be what is needed to get a good image. Also using large zoom can reveal interesting details and boost the colours. However, getting a sharp image may be difficult at the sea due to the rolling boat. Normally, when shooting the setting sun I use the tripod, but obviously one cannot use that in a boat.

Sailing into the sunset
Sailing into the sunset. I like the colours of the sunset, but the composition is less original

Sunset in Visby
A sail boat approaching Visby at sunset. Photo taken with a large zoom and a tripod.

Normally when photographing for example the setting sun from the boat, I try to include the boat somehow or some detail from the equipment for example to convey to the image the freedom of sailing and being close to the sea. However, finding different and new shooting positions after many years becomes more and more challenging.

Sunrise_sailing in the Baltic Sea
Photographing on the deck usually gives more action to the photo. However, taking the system camera on the fore deck is not always the wisest thing to do. 
Sunset near Öja/Landsort
The Sun setting behind the Öja/Landsort island

The waterproof action camera, that we have been using this year, brings many new possibilities for shooting. However, when photographing in the lesser light of the setting or rising sun, obviously the camera of a size of a match box cannot match the quality of a large system camera, but it clearly has many other benefits.

All the photos are taken last summer. I also edited a short video of Sunsets and Sunrises of the Northern Baltic Sea in 2013.

Sunset in Lickershamn
Sunset in Lickershamn, Gotland
Small boat in Lickershamn
A small boat in Lickershamn
Sunset in Bothnian Sea
Sunset in Kustavi
Kaskis island at Airisto
Sunset in Kaskis island