View Full Version : Predicting Colourful Sunsets
02-04-2011, 12:07 PM
Does anyone use any special techniques for judging if a sunset will be spectacular or not?
i've been trying to examine the sky and when there is a stunning sunset...but haven't really come up with anything really significant...sometimes when it is cold there will be a bright red sunset...and sometimes high clouds...but not sure if that's coincidence or not!
02-04-2011, 12:13 PM
Wish I knew a technique:unsure: would be so much easier! High clouds or Macarel clouds are normally a good sign though, but apart from that..............
02-04-2011, 01:00 PM
I don't really have a tehnique as such Xaiya...but generally speaking and as Soren has suggested, having clouds about gives the setting sun something
to light up, particularly the bottoms. Thats where the drama is IMHO. Cloudless skies can also be very dramatic, but usually need another element
such as a body of water to help it along. Also it pays to look behind you as you watch the setting sun, any puffy white clouds will be really lit up.
Hope that helps:)
Check the weather radars for local cloud BOM here (http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/radar/) and zoom out to the 512km so you get the 'big picture', WeatherZone http://www.weatherzone.com.au/radar/ and this useful one (http://realtime2.bsch.au.com/wv_sat.html) (click on water vapour choice at top of pic) for predicting cloud cover - white is cvloud, dark is high oressures - usually means heat and no cloud
03-04-2011, 08:10 AM
thanks guys, it looks like there is a bit of an art to it!
thanks for those links Odille, I haven't seen that water vapour one before, very interesting indeed!
nsw doesnt have that much activity at the moment!
03-04-2011, 11:54 AM
The old timers would say:
Red in the morning, shepherd's warning;
Red at night, shepherd's delight.
So watch the weather forecast in the late afternoon for a good night and a fine day tomorrow and look out for some wispy clouds in the west. Maybe that would be a combination of good signs. Dunno.
30-07-2011, 11:14 PM
We get some beauties after a bush fire to
26-08-2011, 07:25 PM
Its not clouds that does it, its dust and other pollutant particles in the air - so yep, bush fires are good, dust storms, high pollution levels etc
Yes, on the Glasshouse Coast we get more stunning sunsets when the Forestry is burning off in late winter, or when the wind is blowing from the west after the dry season. It brings the dust with it.
thought I had a thread for this
This is a very popular subject to photograph and it’s easy to understand why. In my truck driving days I use to love the sunrise; it’s usually different most mornings, but more importantly, I got through a long hard night in one piece, but it was so much better when there was some broken cloud for the sun to light up.
Sunnies, as I call them, are actually one of the easiest; or should be one of the easier photos to take, but there a couple of tricks and you don’t need any special cameras or filters, although a solid camera rest is important.
We will deal mainly with sunsets: The big mistake most make is they photograph too early and pack up to early
THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHIC COLOUR WILL GENERALLY HAPPEN
ABOUT TEN TO FIFTEEN MINUTES AFTER THE
SUN SETS BELOW THE HORIZON.
The better sunset photos will be taken because you are out there; but there things to look for that will tell there maybe a sunny that evening. Those wonderful colours happen because the sun is shining from below the horizon onto the underside of the cloud and broken high level cloud is the best for a colourful sunny.
If you are really keen, you will start to take more notice of weather reports and log onto the internet (http://www.eldersweather.com.au/satellite.jsp?lt=country&lc=aus) weather (http://www.weatherzone.com.au/satellite.jsp) sites more often to check out the satellite maps. You will start to watch clouds and observe what they do. Most weather patterns travel west to east.
If you feel there is a sunny coming on you need to be set up 15-20 minutes before the sun set. Knowing where the sun will set is also helpful and it does not set at the same spot at same time every day of the year. Sunsets/rises move; and the further south you are the more they move.
The gear does not matter that much; a P+S will do; but as the best photos will be taken after sunset so a tripod or a solid camera rest will be required. I usually set the camera to manual and bracket most photos although AP will do with most DSLRs>>sometimes it helpful to set to manual focus>>I focus and then turn it off.
This is the big mistake: most take photos with the big bright sun in the photo>> IT USALLY DOES NOT WORK. The camera can not record what you see. This write-up came to mind because of a photo on APF; it was taken tooooo early
THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHIC COLOUR WILL GENERALLY HAPPEN ABOUT TEN TO FIFTEEN MINUTES AFTER THE SUN SETS BELOW THE HORIZON.
However; if the sun sets behind a medium to heavy cloud, there is a very good chance that the cloud will block the sun’s rays from getting onto the underside of the cloud, but don’t pack up; WAIT UNTIL IT IS DARK. I have seen it and I have done it; that is packing up to early; it all goes dark and gloomy as the sun sets below the horizon so everyone cries and packs up. But the sun has to get down further so the rays hit the under side of the clouds. SO WAIT.
And don’t just look to the west [that’s roughly where the sun sets]; look around and behind you also.
Sunrises happen 10-15 minutes before the sun comes over the horizon, and generally after the sun comes over the horizon its all over.
And that is all there is to photograph a good colourful sunny; some luck; some planning and some patents.
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