So last night there was this amazing sunset (although it was in color) and it brought up a ton of emotions and thoughts for me as a photographer. I love the sense of community I feel when I see a sunset because I know everyone in the vicinity is looking at it. I love that it brings to mind a variety of powerful thoughts about creation, nature and God.
But, when a sunset is photographed it feels like forgery. I mean, come on, how does anyone NOT take a great picture of a sunset? It’s like photographing a great piece of art and calling it your own creation. To me, there is no creative talent necessary to document a sunset. I don’t feel like when I photograph a sunset there is a piece of me in the photograph.
I took a picture of the “Fabulous Sunset,” as I titled the folder I put the raw files in, because I couldn’t help myself. It’s like watching a train wreck in a positive way-you just can’t help but stare. However, the whole time I was completely regretting not photographing the sky for hours before the sunset because that’s where I saw the beauty and that’s where I saw myself in the image. But of course life happened and I never got around to it.
The process of photographing a sunset is so banal. I guess I am pretty cynical about this but that’s just because I’ve probably taken thousands of pictures of sunsets in my career and none of them have given me the joy that creating a photograph that communicates the spirit of a person of any age gives me.
What do you think? Do you think there is a craft, spirit, joy in photographing sunsets? I’d love to hear your take on it and your thoughts on my jaded view! How does it make you feel to see the sunset in B&W?