Recipe for a Dramatic Sunrise or Sunset

Are the sunrises and sunsets in your part of the world ho-hum?
If they are, then you could follow this recipe to make them spectacular!
– start with clean air, preferably in the fall or winter season. (You might have to travel somewhere to find these conditions.)
– marvel at the blue of the daytime sky, which is caused by the selective scattering of sunlight by air molecules. This scattering favours the shorter wavelengths of violet to blue.
– consider the much longer path through the atmosphere that sunlight has to travel in the morning and evening. It scatters more violet and blue, which creates the opportunity for reds and oranges to reach our eyes.
– finally, add some clouds to catch the red-orange rays and reflect this light to the ground.

It wasn’t until I investigated the science of the colour of sunrises that I realized that not everyone gets to see such a thing regularly! Now I know how fortunate I am to live in two parts of the world where this frequently occurs.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Rise/Set

For a good explanation of scattering, see The Colors of Sunset and Twilight.

Question of the day – do you have dramatic sunrises and sunsets where you live? If so, how much thousands of photos have you taken of them?

17 thoughts on “Recipe for a Dramatic Sunrise or Sunset

  1. Beautiful photo. The sun rises outside our bedroom window (which is actually a five foot wide sliding door leading to a 2nd storey balcony) and most mornings lately it has been absolutely beautiful. It sets beyond the trees at the front of our house, where we have a wall of windows, two storey high, so we get to enjoy that view as well each night. Occasionally it is so spectacular we just sit and stare in wonder. We never had the kinds of brilliance or colours in the city that we see out here in the country (fresh air, no pollution, time to enjoy!)


  2. We are so fortunate to be able to view both the sunrise and the sunset from our property. Taking pictures of them is one of my favorite hobbies I never thought about there being a “science” to colorful ones. Thanks for the information!


    1. I know what you mean. No two sky events are ever the same, so you just have to capture them all, just in case it is better than anything you have ever seen before… that’s my logic, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We have the same issue at the Alberta house. Once the sun moves into the summer location, we don’t have the good vantage point that we have in the winter. It isn’t a problem at the Arizona place – we have a roof top patio!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a ‘challenge’ to take part in a photo challenge but add some information that no one else talks about! Glad to hear I succeeded.

      Liked by 1 person

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