When I first read the quote “The biggest cliche in photography is sunrise and sunset”, by Catherine Opie, I just laughed. No matter how many times I have photographed either of the two, it never gets old. Every single one of them is a different process, different colors, different setting. And even in the same setting, like this beach I have been to many many times, the result is always new.
So, are they really cliché?
To me, selfies are more cliché. You’ve seen one you’ve seen them all.
But take this photo for example. It is a process of about an hour and I started photographing on the shores of the lake. Because… sunset over water; that’s where it’s at. Yes, many times, it is. But this time, after the sun had actually fallen below the mountain line, the sunset still wasn’t right for photographing.
There were still people on the beach.
A bench was in the way.
My angle wasn’t right.
As I wandered around waiting for the colors to come, I was drawn to the flowers up above the beach line. Behind all the tall grass was a beautiful view of the mountains, some still with snow. The marshy foreground was trying to grandstand the show with some reflection. And the birds timed their flight perfectly, enjoying the same view I am.Behind all the tall grass was a beautiful view of the mountains, some still snow covered. And… Click To Tweet
Throughout the night when there’s no direct light
and a thin veil of clouds keeps the stars out of sight
I can smell the colors outside on my lawn
The moist green organic that my feet tread upon
And the black oleander surrounded by blues
I’m soon overwhelmed by olfactory hues
THIS. This is where is at. Enjoying the moment when these beautiful photos are taken. Isn’t that what we feel when we see a sunrise or sunset. Anyone’s sunrise or sunset photos. We all share the feeling of waiting and anticipation that goes along with actually taking the photo, and I think we empathize with a feeling of gratitude. That is a pretty special connection that a photograph is able to produce and to me, doesn’t feel cliché at all.
If you want to check out some AMAZING sunrises from all over the world, check out this photo essay, New Beginnings.
Love this, Pin it for later!