Every photographer loves the golden hour, that special time between dusk and dark. Sunsets can be spectacular, unusual and surreal. Since I just got back from Page Arizona to photograph the natural beauty of the area, including of course Horseshoe Bend at sunset, I have decided to collect a few of my favorite sunsets from around the world. Not all sunsets depend on color to make them spectacular, although Horseshoe Bend might be the exception. Often it is the subtle interplay of light and dark, the delicate colors rather than flashy vibrance and it is always about that soft light that fills our senses as the embers of the day play out.
El Capitan to the left, Bridaveil Fall to the right, and the rest of Yosemite Valley behind Tunnel View provides one of the most famous views of Yosemite Valley. From here you can see El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall rising from Yosemite Valley, with Half Dome in the background. This viewpoint is at the east end of the Wawona Tunnel along the Wawona Road (Highway 41). This is often the first waterfall visitors see when entering Yosemite Valley. In spring, it thunders, during the rest of the year, look for its characteristic light, swaying flow. Bridalveil Fall is one of the most prominent waterfalls in the Yosemite Valley in California, seen yearly by millions of visitors to Yosemite National Park. The waterfall is 188 meters (617 ft) in height and flows year round. The Ahwahneechee tribe believed that Bridalveil Fall was home to a vengeful spirit named Pohono who guarded the entrance to the valley and that those leaving the valley must not look directly into the waterfall lest they be cursed. They also believed that inhaling the mist of Bridalveil Fall would improve one’s chances of marriage.
When getting to know the capital city of Peru, head straight to the neighborhood of Miraflores for a scenic introduction to Lima’s charms. Taking cues from its name, Miraflores is peppered with flowerbeds and grassy parks, just calling for you to enjoy it’s lush greenery. From jagged cliffs overlooking the Pacific and the centrally located Kennedy Park, to some dazzling gems in Peruvian cuisine, Miraflores offers the perfect beginning to your Limanian adventure. It is a lot like Palisades Park in Santa Monica, only bigger and with better views.
Istanbul is much like Paris when it comes to restaurants, there are really good cafés on nearly every block. However, there are always a few restaurants that are special, often because of location or amazing food. Rarely, there is a restaurant that has both, like Sunset Grill and Bar in Istanbul boasting stunning views of asian Istanbul, the Bosphorus and sunsets in the heart of city, on the hills of affluent Ulus. This restaurant was suggested by my friend David and I am so pleased I took his recommendation. I was staying in the Sultanahmet or old city and with traffic it took only about 30 minutes to get there, well worth the effort. Istanbul’s first restaurant to add a sushi bar (in 2000), Sunset Grill & Bar isn't just any upscale restaurant in the city. The restaurant grows its own herbs in the garden, produces wines in its vineyard in Bozcaada and has Turkey’s most precious wine collection in its possession. They are open Monday-Saturday from noon to 3:00pm for lunch and daily from 7:00pm to midnight for dinner.
For nearly as long as I remember I have wanted to go sailing on the Nile river. I have done some sailing in the past and I find it to be both relaxing and a way to get a different perspective on any place bordering a body of water. In the case of Aswan, and in fact in all of Egypt, the Nile is not just a river, it is the artery carrying the lifeblood of the nation and virtually all life revolves around it. The sailboat shown above is called a felucca, a traditional wooden sailing boat used in the protected waters of the Red Sea and eastern Mediterranean including Malta, and particularly along the Nile in Egypt, Sudan, and also in Iraq. They are usually able to hold ten passengers and the crew consists of two or three people. The felucca has remained, over the centuries, the primary transportation of the Nile. Its ancient form still graces the river as it has done since the time of the Pharaohs. Motorized barges transport bulk material and modern cruise ships transport tourists, but the felucca remains despite modern alternatives. The felucca rarely has any form of engine and relies entirely on the breeze which builds during the day and usually subsides at night, and the Nile River's current. Egypt is blessed with a predominant southerly wind that pushes sailboats upriver, while allowing them to return on its current downstream.
The Tigris is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. In Greek, Mesopotamia means between two rivers. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq and empties itself into the Persian Gulf. The Ancient Greek form Tigris was borrowed from Old Persian Tigrā, itself from Elamite Tigra, itself from Sumerian Idigna. The original Sumerian Idigna or Idigina was probably from “running water”, which can be interpreted as “the swift river”, contrasted to its neighbor, the Euphrates. Another name for the Tigris used in Middle Persian was Arvand Rud, literally “swift river”. Today, however, Arvand Rud refers to the confluence of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers (known in Arabic as the Shatt al-Arab). In Kurdish and in southeastern Turkey the river is known as Dicle also known as Ava Mezin, “the Great Water”. Rising in the Taurus mountains of southern Turkey, the Tigris flows southeast through Iraq, where in the southern part of that country it merges with the Euphrates to become the Shatt al Arab, which then flows to the Persian Gulf. The river has numerous small tributaries running from its eastern bank, and is 1,180 miles (1,899 km) in length.
I watched a couple of sunsets when we were in Santa Monica and took a bunch of pictures. I thought I would share the pictures here. I have been trying out the digital filters on my Lumix G5. I got the rich blue sky with a polarizing filter, I pushed the blue a little far but it is an interesting photo, I particularly like the black forms along the waters edge.