I was born, and grew up in, Fort Myers, Florida, located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Watching the sun set over the Caloosahatchee or the Gulf of Mexico was a huge part of my existence as a child. I have had the fortunate experience of watching sunsets in all 50 states in the U.S.A., as well as in many other places around the world. David, the professional photographer in the family, has many, many beautiful photographs of sunsets from all over the world, including some that are prominently displayed in our living room. We love sunsets! When we moved to our current home, the first item on our “must have” list was a house with a western exposure in the back yard, to allow us the opportunity to gaze at the sunset on the evenings when we are home. Given our frequent travel schedules, watching the sunsets from our lovely patio is a rare treat and one we treasure. We recently had an experience that made us realize not everyone is as fond of watching sunsets as we are. We hosted house guests who, much to our surprise, when invited to join us on our patio to celebrate the end of the day with our “sunset party,” were not as thrilled to see the sunset as we were. Needless to say, David and I were stunned at first, but as we have discussed it since then, we realize that not everyone shares our enjoyment of watching sunsets from wherever they happen to be, even if it is our humble home in Pompano Beach, Florida. Having watched the sunsets in Santorini, Greece, reputably one of the best places in the world for sunset gazing, I will say that seeing the sunsets from my patio, while perhaps not as intense as elsewhere, is, to me, the essence of what it means to be happy. I’m looking forward to watching the next sunset, wherever I happen to be!
I love the colors of sunsets. And I love that you don’t have to get up before sunrise to experience a sunset – I’m not that much of an early bird! Some of the first photos I ever took were of sunsets as viewed across the St. Johns River, a few minutes walk from my house. I learned about shooting silhouette portraits (sorry Stephen) using the sunset as a background. When we are traveling and we stop to watch the sunset, we are often not alone – the enjoyment of watching and experiencing the end of the day is appreciated by many. Some places celebrate sunset with a party – Key West comes to mind. A sunset in Key West is a big event, every day, with buskers, jugglers, adult beverages, and more. The funny thing in Key West is that, very often, the actual sunset is obscured by clouds. When the sun should be on the horizon, it is covered by clouds. But, that doesn’t mean it is not a good show because sometimes, those clouds take on colors and reflect the sun in dazzling ways. When one gets the full sun sinking into the water event, it is amazing. Using my telephoto lenses, I love to capture that moment, always hoping for the elusive green flash. The green flash is a real phenomenon that occurs just after the sun sinks into the sea and it happens when the earth’s atmosphere separates the color spectrum at sunset (and reportedly, sunrise) resulting in green appearing very briefly, a couple of seconds. Melissa and I have seen it a few times, on Kauai, in Hawaii, and Florida (Key West). As much as I enjoy chasing sunsets – relaxing and enjoying them at home is a reminder of the big world out there and the people watching it with you.