The Enchantment of Sunsets

June 4, 2023

If sunrises are my favorite time to photograph, sunsets are a close second.

Sunset on Rodeo Beach, California.
Sunset on Rodeo Beach

Two sea stacks stand guard, framing the radiance of the setting sun on Rodeo Beach in Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California. The sky, streaked with pink, orange, yellow, and blue hues, creates a vibrant backdrop for the ruggedness of rocky shoreline, while the waves washing over the sand and around the rocks, bring a sense of motion to the otherwise tranquil scene.

“Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The sun sets behind the Manhattan skyline and lights up the sky over the Brooklyn Bridge.
Brooklyn Sunset

Step into the beauty of New York City with this stunning fine art print of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge against a vibrant sunset. The silhouette of the bridge is set against the breathtaking Manhattan skyline, creating a scene of pure magic. The rich colors of the sunset bring a dynamic energy to the photo, making it a must-have for any lover of photography, architecture, or cityscapes.

I've often said my favorite time of the day to photograph is at sunrise. I love the stillness, a world just awakening, birds singing their morning songs, the temperature still cool, and few people out and about. It's a magical time that I find refreshing, renewing, and allows me to start the day with a clear head while I'm photographing. But if sunrise is all of that for me, and my favorite time to photograph, sunset is a close second.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse at sunset.
High Tide at Sunset

The sun sets, painting the clouds with hues of deep red and orange against a blue sky as high tide rolls in ferociously at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Tremont, Maine. I've photographed at this location many times, but none of them were quite like this one. On this evening, the conditions all came together - clouds in the sky, huge, crashing waves exploding against the rocky shore, and not another soul in sight. I literally had this scene to myself along with a friend. The kind of sunset that refreshes the soul.

I find sunsets to be the perfect way to end any day, good or bad. On the good days, it's a celebration of the victories, the cherry on top of the sundae, the exclamation point. On the bad days, it's a reminder that despite the trials and tribulations of the day, it's not all bad. It's a reminder of the beauty in the world, and as Ralph stated above, it's the promise that tomorrow may be better.

This essence of a summer evening on Penobscot Bay, Maine is captured in this photograph, showing a solitary buoy marking the...
Sunset on Penobscot Bay

This essence of a summer evening on Penobscot Bay, Maine is captured in this photograph, showing a solitary buoy marking the channel into Camden Harbor. Behind it, Camden Hills rise up, the rich orange hues of the sunset creating a breathtaking contrast against the deep blue of the sky and the sparkling water. This image is truly a masterpiece of nature and light, a perfect representation of the beauty of the Maine coast.

If sunrises are the world awakening, sunsets are the world settling in for the night. People slowly disperse, traffic thins out as people make their way home after a long day, the air seems to calm, and water at lakes slowly settles. As the light fades, you can feel the tension of the day draining away as well. I always find myself hopeful about tomorrow after witnessing a sunset.

The sun sets behind Weir Island in Penobscot Bay, just off Sand Beach in Stonington on Deer Isle, Maine.
I Am A Rock, I Am An Island

The sun sets behind Weir Island near Stonington, Maine on a November evening. The long exposure technique used creates a serene effect on the ocean and adds drama to the sky, where the clouds appear to be in motion, illuminated by the warm hues of red and orange from the setting sun. The foreground is dominated by the imposing rocks on Sand Beach, adding depth and texture to the scene.

My favorite sunset photos are the ones I've made when someone I'm close to is with me, whether it's my wife, my children, or friends. These images are permanent reminders of the time spent together and tend to have more meaning beyond the natural beauty I've managed to capture. The memories they evoke help me relive those happy moments, especially in times when life is a bit more difficult.

The Great Smoky Mountains lay before the setting sun on an autumn evening at Clingman's Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Appalachian Sunset II

The Great Smoky Mountains lay before the setting sun on an autumn evening at Clingman's Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The sun appears as a large yellow disc, casting warm rays over the peaks of the mountains. The sky is painted in a gradient of red, orange, and pink, creating a vivid contrast with the blue and purple hues of the mountains. The use of a telephoto lens flattens the image to large, graphic shapes, showcasing the natural beauty and grandeur of this stunning landscape.

Sometimes, the memories are of complete strangers. For instance, "Appalachian Sunset II", above, was taken at Clingman's Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on an autumn day last October, with my friend Kristen Wilkinson. The location was packed with people watching the sunset, and we were elbow to elbow with others. Naturally, conversations started when people noticed our cameras, as they tend to do. They ask about our travels, what we've photographed so far, where we're headed next. They ask where they can see our work. Those random conversations are reminders that people are generally good, caring, and kind. I enjoy meeting people and discussing my work, and can't think of a better time to do that than over a sunset.

A one room schoolhouse at sunset.
The One-Room Schoolhouse

Maple Ridge Schoolhouse, a throwback to days long past, catches the brilliant setting sun through its windows on a spring evening in Harrison, Maine. You can't help but be touched by the beauty of the quiet moment painted here. The schoolhouse stands alone in a grassy field, while the setting sun casts a warm orange hue over the landscape, a reminder of simpler days before technology took over our lives. The view is pure and peaceful and one can't help but feel a sense of timelessness.

I always love ending my day photographing sunset. I've included a few of my favorite sunset images here, and I hope you enjoy them. Do you have a favorite?

A lone skiff anchors just off the islands known as Joseph and George at sunset at Lookout Point in Harpswell, Maine.
Beyond The Sundown

A lone skiff anchors just off the islands known as Joseph and George at sunset at Lookout Point in Harpswell, Maine.

A dinghy rests on the mud of the Nonesuch River at sunset at Pine Point in Scarborough, Maine.
Sunset at Pine Point


A moment of tranquility on the Nonesuch River at Pine Point in Scarborough, Maine as the sun sets on a summer evening. A small white dinghy rests in the shallow waters at low tide, as colorful hues of pink, orange, and yellow fill the sky and are reflected by the river, creating a dazzling echo of light and color. This photo is an offered as a limited edition of 100 prints. All limited editions will also receive a signed certificate of authenticity as well as a matching serial number.

Thor's Well, a collapsed sea cave near Yachats, Oregon.
Thor's Well

This breathtaking fine art photograph of Thor's Well at sunset captures a timeless moment of unimaginable beauty. The powerful Pacific waters spill over a double lip of rocks, perfectly balanced between the breathtaking blues and golds of a Pacific Northwest sunset. The vibrant, captivating water will bring warmth and life to any wall, making it a truly unforgettable piece. This epic and unusual sight is captured in exquisite detail, available on museum-quality photo rag fine art paper, wood float plaque, exhibit mount metal print, or Lumachrome TruLife acrylic, available in a variety of sizes to suit any space. Make Thor's Well part of your home, office, or living space and transport yourself to a moment of infinity.

Sunset at Turret Arch in Arches National Park.
Sunset Through Turret Arch

The sun sets behind Turret Arch in Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. The fin that Turret Arch is carving out is currently 100 feet wide, and the arch itself is still fairly young.

The sun sets over Barnegat Bay in Lavallette, NJ.
Sunset Over Barnegat Bay

A long wooden dock stretches into Barnegat Bay in Lavalette, New Jersey, at sunset, reaching out into the calm, mirror-like waters. The dark wooden planks contrast starkly with the reflective surface of the bay, while a warm orange glow radiates from the horizon, casting a blanket of light on the sky above. Exquisite streaks of clouds disperse in the sky, illuminated by the intense orange hues of the setting sun, adding a peaceful serenity to the composition. The still, unruffled water gives the photo an ethereal quality, showing the serenity of the landscape, made even more beautiful by the setting sun..

The sun sets behind a field of sunflowers.
Aroostook Sunset

The sun is slowly sinking behind a field of bright yellow sunflowers, casting a warm, hopeful glow on the horizon on a summer evening in Aroostook County, Maine. The sky is a sight to behold as the sun paints it with vibrant orange and pink hues that slowly graduate to a soft, light blue as the night sky begins to take over. Amidst the beauty of the natural world, hope and light continue to blossom in the hearts of those who take the time to appreciate it.

Sunset in Arches National Park.
The Garden of Eden at Dusk

The sky glows from the sunset over a bristlecone pine in the Garden of Eden area of Arches National Park in Moab, Utah.

A sunset over the badlands in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.
Clearing Storm in the Badlands

Limited Edition

The setting sun shines brilliantly through the dispersing clouds from a summer thunderstorm in the badlands of North Dakota at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The lush green grasses are kissed by the warm glow of the sun, while the otherworldly rock formations, their details expertly captured, create a play between light and shadow that invites the viewer to explore more closely.

Offered as a 100-print Limited Edition. A Certificate of Authenticity is included with all limited edition print purchases, and will be sent separately.

A sunset framed by Arch Rock in Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.
Arch Rock Sunset

The warm orange hues of the sun glow brilliantly above the desert horizon, creating a serene, dream-like atmosphere all around. The huge, towering Arch Rock proudly frames the sunset, a majestic silhouette against the warm ethereal light, as its enormous, swooping curves form a powerful gateway to the end of yet another peaceful day in the Nevada desert.