Fotoeins Fotografie

faces of home & place-story

Posts tagged ‘sunset’

Dover Heights, Sydney, Australia

Sydney’s sunset heights: a golden crown at the Harbour Bridge arch

It’s late-April, and the days grow shorter in autumn here in the southern hemisphere. That also means that with each passing day towards the winter solstice, the sun’s path across the sky drifts a little bit northwards. The 23.4-degree tilt of the Earth’s rotation-axis with respect to the Earth’s orbital-plane around the Sun ensures that most of the planet experiences four seasons with every full orbit or revolution around the Sun.

From my desire to photograph sunsets here in Sydney, Australia, I knew that the setting sun would soon intersect the crown in the arch of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge as viewed from Dover Heights in the eastern suburbs. Frequent “reconnaissance” visits to Dover Heights (and getting to know the 380 bus-route very well), I had worked out how much the position of the (setting) sun would change in the sky with every passing day.

There would be an occasional day when a part of me would reject the notion of heading out to try again. The reasonable side of me wouldn’t hear of it. “It’s sunny, it’s +25C, you have to go through Bondi Beach (awww); so, get your butt out there before you regret it.” Aaaah, because regret and me, you know we’re … “this” close.

With a successful experiment to photograph sunsets (and the full moon) in late-April, I have no regrets.

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Dover Heights, Sydney, Australia

Sydney: sunsets from west and east

It can be a little unusual to view a sunset from both west and east.

From the west looking east, the sun is behind the viewer, and the setting sun illuminates everything in front of the viewer; that’s a way to describe “front illumination.” From the east looking west, the sun is in front of the viewer, and anything in between the sun and the viewer will appear (mostly) in silhouette; this is an example of “back illumination”.

That’s all very wordy to be sure, but I have above photos of two sunsets in Sydney, one sunset seen from the west and another sunset seen from the east.

In the first case, I boarded the Parramatta River ferry and headed east towards the City as the sun set behind us on the boat. In the second case, I wandered over to Dover Heights in the eastern suburbs to watch the sunset directly in front of me.

In both cases, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is the centrepiece for the setting sun.

Addendum: this photographic experiment became a complete success two weeks after the first photo I made on 14 April …

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Hamburg: sunset at Sandtorhafen

Sunset over Speicherstadt (click me)

Sandtorhafen, Speicherstadt : Hamburg, Germany.

Speicherstadt, Hamburg

Both photos above were made on 2 October 2011 with the Canon EOS450D camera, EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens, and camera settings 1/200s (roughly), f/5.6, ISO100, 300mm focal length. This post is published on Fotoeins Fotopress at

Where I work

Winter can be a frustrating time at an astronomical observatory with the presence of dark threatening clouds, freezing temperatures, high humidity, blustery winds, and blowing snow.

With a month remaining in the Chilean southern winter and the forecast for clearing skies, the nighttime-observing crew arrived tonight (28 Aug 2011) at the Cerro Pachón summit with the following view towards the Andean spine to the east, and the setting sun behind us to the west.

Cerro Pachon, Chile
View from Cerro Pachón, Chile – 28 August 2011.

This photo was taken at an altitude of about 2700 metres (8860 feet) above sea-level.

The dome-shadow at lower-centre is Gemini Observatory (South); I stood in its shadow at the edge of the ridge where I made this photograph. The dome-shadow at the lower-left is the SOAR Telescope.

You can compare the photo above with the following photo I made 5 weeks ago, one minute after sunset …

Cerro Pachon, Chile
View from Cerro Pachón, Chile – 24 July 2011.

The view sure is pretty up here.

At the centre of the photo above, the background ‘peak’ marked by the red pin (in the Google map below) is 4450 metres high (14600 feet) with a line-of-sight distance of 32 km (20 miles) to the east southeast (heading 96 degrees). Over to the right of the photo, the foreground ‘peak’ marked by the green pin is 4340 metres high (14200 feet) with a line-of-sight distance 19 km (12 miles) to the east southeast (heading 106 degrees). The location of Cerro Pachón is marked by the blue pin below.

After 15 years in the business, it’s a little difficult to imagine (but getting easier to accept) that I’m packing it in by the end of this year for something new and different.

This post was published originally on Fotoeins Fotopress (

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