Season for sunsets

We have seasons for hunting, the weather and sports but one for sunsets? Sunsets happen literally every day so how can there be a season for them?

A fisherman casts his line in the waters at the head of the deep water channel at sunset at the Weber Point Events Center in downtown Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

During fall, because of the natural shortening of the days, sunset comes earlier in the day. Instead of sunset occurring at nearly 9:30 p.m during the height of summer, the end of the day comes around 4:30 p.m. His means you don’t have to stay up late to shoot the warm colors of sundown.

Jennifer Sila of Florida takes pictures of sandhill cranes during sunset at the Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve west of Lodi. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

You can go out and shoot the golden hour and then go out to dinner afterwards. If you’re so inclined, you can keep on shooting even when the sunset merges into the blue hour of dusk and still make it home for your favorite TV shows.

(2/21/12) The evening sunset as seen from Pelter Road and Rond Road in Thornton in San Joaquin County, CA. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

This is also the time when the weather changes. The air is crisper and colder. There’s a better chance of clouds forming which can lead to some spectacular sunset photos. Think of a sunset as a soup and a clear sky with a sinking sun as the broth. Clouds can be the meat, veggies and other ingredients to make that soup even tastier.

(12/29/11) A fiery sunset lights up the sky as Jesus Castillo of Stockton fishes at the Port of Stockton’s turning basin in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Having a person or people in your sunset photos can help to give your composition a point of interest and give the scene scale. It’s more likely that people will be out and about during sunset when it occurs earlier in the day.
The downside to shooting sunsets at this time of year is that the weather is turning cooler. Right now it’s not much of a problem, nothing that wearing a sweater or a sweat shirt won’t solve. But within a few weeks it may get downright chilly and heavier outerwear may be needed.

So if you like sunsets but don’t like to stay up late, this is the season for you.

Esteban Aguila of Stockton takes advantage of mild weather to take in a sunset and practice his guitar at the Port of Stockton’s turning basin in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

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