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IN THE FIELD: Autumn And Winter Atmospheres


During the autumn and winter seasons, conditions are often favorable for brilliant and colorful sunrises and sunsets.

Ever wonder why the sunrises and sunsets are often very vibrant during the autumn and winter months? Well, it’s partly due to the light from the sun at sunrise and sunset must pass through more of the earth’s atmosphere before it reaches our eyes. That’s mostly due to the angle or tilt of the earth in relation to the sun. Because of this, the light comes in contact with more molecules in the air. Much of the blue light gets scattered or diffused away leaving behind the pinks, reds, oranges and yellows which become more pronounced. Another factor is the clear dry air that is present this time of year compared to the more humid air of spring and summer.

For sunset photos, be sure to stick around for 15 -20 minutes or so after the sun dips below the horizon. That’s when the color can really be intense. For sunrises, get in position about a 1/2 hour before the sun peeks over the horizon and you may just have some of the most beautiful color of the day.

If you would like to reward yourself with some fantastic images that are taken in the cooler seasons, grab some gloves, boots, a warm coat and hat, pick up your camera and tripod and go out and feast your eyes. Just remember…there is no such thing as bad weather…it’s bad clothing.



cloudy WB

ISO 200

Shot in RAW

  1. December 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Love that sky!!!

    • December 30, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      The sunsets…and sunrises for that matter…sure have been outstanding lately! I’m building up quite a collection…I just can’t help myself!

  2. December 29, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    It’s true, it’s true! (about the bad clothing.) Great photo!

    • December 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks Jane….they sure have been colorful lately! We heard that saying from a small radio station DJ while visiting Minnesota a few years ago. I think we were west of Minnetonka and turned on the car radio for some local flavor and that’s when we heard the saying LOL but so true!

  3. December 29, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Love that beautiful sky! Great capture, David.

    • December 30, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks Gracie, the sunsets have been so pretty lately I make dinner for the pups and ourselves late because I have to get a few shots. What we won’t do ….

  4. December 30, 2013 at 2:06 am

    Beautiful image, David! We have been taking photos of sunrises and sunsets, too – late November and early December brought some spectacular skies. By coincidence I’ve got a post ready with some photos!

    • December 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks Jo, the skies sure have been flushed with color this year. Post away…I love sunsets and sunrises!

  5. LB
    December 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    YES!! Winter photography is my favorite (I think … 🙂 )
    Your tips are right on target and your results are gorgeous!

    • December 30, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks LB, I do enjoy winter photography also…especially shadows in the snow. I hope we get more snow at night…I’ve got some ideas for long exposures and colored lights.

  6. December 31, 2013 at 4:29 am

    Beautiful colours, so crisp. I love a dramatic sunset or sunrise 🙂

    • January 1, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      The colors sure have been bright and beautiful this year!!! I could watch the sunrise and set everyday!

  7. December 31, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Love the contrast between the light and dark.

    • January 1, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      We have a perfect vantage point from our back door for sunsets…we have a beautiful sunset almost everyday. Hope I don’t overdo it with posting!!!

  8. December 31, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Beautiful and atmospheric. Makes one feel truly alive.

    Wishing you a wonderful and absolutely marvellous New Year!

    • January 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      They sure have been vibrant lately! Wishing you a fabulous year ahead too!!!

  9. January 17, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    I love that last comment about bad clothing. So true! When I first moved to Maine, I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle the winters. I’ve always hated the cold – and really felt it! I learned that I’d just never had the right clothing for it. The first thing I did was buy a warm down parka, and I was good to go!

    • January 22, 2014 at 11:27 am

      I have to give up my source for the “bad clothing” metaphor…we were on vacation in Minnesota and we heard a local DJ on a small radio station discussing the weather with a fellow on air person when he said the bad clothing thing. We both laughed out loud and then realized he was absolutely correct. Today is a day for good clothing! It’s 6 degrees with wind chills in the minus teens…brrrrrrrr

      • January 22, 2014 at 11:49 am

        Same here! It’s also a good day for staying inside!

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