Every day an hour before sunset I begin a routine that has become second nature to me: pull out a map, check the direction of sunset, and scout a location for a potential photo. I have several apps that help me with planning the location down to a specific GPS coordinate. I arrive at the destination, set up my photography and video gear, pull out a chair, and wait for the show.
Sometimes the show is lackluster and unimpressive, but that’s okay; if I wasn’t there to begin with, I would never capture anything amazing. It’s a risk I take, but when I see a spectacular sunset all the risks before it has been worth it. I would say about half the time I set up for a sunset photo I get something that is rather nice, and at the very least pleasant to watch.
But every once in awhile something absolutely magical happens. The layer of clouds in the sky, the timing of the sunset, and my vantage point all come together to create a breathtaking sunset vista. During these moments I can’t stop smiling and laughing as the camera shutter clicks and I know I have captured that moment forever. There was this one time atop Sassafras Mountain, the tallest mountain in South Carolina, I captured my favorite sunset photo ever.
I’ve captured hundreds of sunset photos over the years, but only a select few stand out as really great travel photos. For a travel photo to be good it needs to show a sense of location. Shooting photos of a brilliant pink and orange sky is a dime a dozen and readily available online. These photos show a sense of place giving you an idea of where it might have been taken, and hopefully inspires you to travel there and see a sunset like this for yourself!