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Friday, August 19, 2016

How Blue is the Ocean, How Gorgeous is the Sky

I fell madly, wildly in love in Willemstad, CuraƧao.

With the absolutely stunning, positively magical, spectacularly flamboyant scene in the sky. And I’ve been hooked on sunsets ever since.

There's positively no better place to see a sunset than on your stateroom balcony or a deck of a cruise ship. No powerlines, lampposts or trees to block the view. Just wide open sea and sky. It’s a vast canvas for nature’s most perfect paintbrush.

The launch of my love affair with sunsets
If you’re like me, when you see a magnificent sunset, you remember it always. You not only remember the way the sky looked, but where you were and what you were doing. And photos of those moments bring it all back in living color.

There are so many ways you can take sunset photos—whether your electronic device of choice is a smartphone, tablet or camera. Consider this:

Pink one minute, blue the next. In a very short period, the colors and configurations can change radically—and dramatically. Take lots of shots—don’t be stingy—you’ll be surprised at the variation.

When the clouds roll in. Sunsets get even more interesting when the clouds get in your way. And as the photo sites say, don’t forget to turn around—it may be even more eye-popping behind you.

Spotlight through the clouds

Sunshine on the water. Another neat shot is focusing on the ocean as a blazing setting sun reflects on the water, changing it to a most unreal kind of color.

Ft. Lauderdale in a blaze of color
Picture this. Shooting a sunset with buildings in the distance can add an interesting element to your photo. So, too, can capturing a bird in flight against a color-streaked sky.

A third of something else. The pros talk about the “rule of thirds,” where the most interesting subject is not in the center of the shot, but rather to one side, above or below. So, your best shot might be with the setting sun off to the left or right of your frame.

Little bit of this, a lot of that. One decision you’ll need to make is how much ocean and how much sky you put in your picture. Try more of one and less of the other, than reverse it, to see what you like best.

Best in silhouette. Getting your cruise companion in silhouette or from behind as he/she gazes into the distance can make a different shot.
The sunset, sea and me

Being at the ready. A camera-worthy sunset can come up when you least expect it. Have your camera ready to go. You’ll need to be able to grab it when you need it, because sunsets are quickie events.

Getting in front of them
Being there when it happens is the biggest challenge. It’s not like there’s an announcement on the PA, “There’s a great sunset, guys. Stop what you’re doing and take a look.” I’m sure we’ve missed countless beauties ‘cause we’ve eaten early.

But here’s something I wish I had known earlier: this great website lets you look up—even long before your trip has even started—the time of sunrise and sunset at the ports you’re visiting when you’re going to be there.

In the field “Sun,” Sunrise and Sunset Times,” enter the city and island. Then on the next screen, pick the menu “Sunrise and Sunset,” scroll all the way to the bottom and it will allow you to pick a month.

You’ve got the photos. Now what?
So, what do you do with those photos? You can frame them for your wall, add them to your digital frame or turn one into a mousepad. See the posting “What to Do with Those Cruise Trip Photos” for some ideas.

Musing’s Top Tip: Didn’t get enough of the sky at sundown? There’s a great (free!) smart phone app you can use to identify the stars in that dark wide open night sky. It’s called SkyView® and you can get it from Google Play.