Waiting for the Light: An Infographic

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Landscape photographers are often told “don’t pack up when the sun sets – wait!”

That’s sound advice – the best light often comes after sunset (or before sunrise).

Watching a spectacular sunset last week, I wondered how long after sunset the color in the sky would remain. Using TPE’s elevation above the horizon tools, plus a bit of Excel, I came up with some figures that estimate how long you can expect clouds to retain those spectacular sunset colors.

We put the information into an infographic. There’s even a “science bit” at the end :)

Cloud infographic

Infographic by Alison Craig

References and Links

Strange Clouds – NASA Science News
Dip of the Horizon by Andrew T. Young
Yallop, B.D., and C.Y. Hohenkerk. 1992. Astronomical Phenomena in Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac, rev. edition, ed. P. Kenneth Seidelmann. Mill Valley, CA: University Science Books, Equation 9.31-1
Cloud Heights at Different Latitudes – Windows to the Universe


If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy “Understanding Light with The Photographer’s Ephemeris” co-authored with renowned landscape photographer Bruce Percy. It’s available through Bruce’s web-site.