Last week, another wedding brought me back to the US. This time it was my cousin and his girlfriend of over NINE years that tied the knot (seriously Jared, you took your time!). I must say that it was very hard to pull me away from my new love, my surfboard. I only got to ride Waimea twice before jetting away…but at least I was luck enough to have some waves to surf in before I left given that my friends across the US and CR are reporting lake-like conditions. The other downer of traveling is missing all the potential fabulous sunsets in Tamarindo. So in the the spirit of beautiful sunsets, I thought I would do some research on all the ingredients and factors that go into making a magical sunset, according to science as well as my own opinion.
“When the sun is high in the sky, it generally appears white because all wavelengths of visible light reach an observer’s eyes with almost equal intensity. As the sun sinks toward the horizon, sunlight enters the atmosphere at a much lower angle and consequently must pass through much more atmosphere before being seen by an observer. Air molecules scatter away the shorter wavelengths of light (violet and blue) and the only light which penetrates through the atmosphere are the longer wavelengths of light (yellow, orange and red) which produce colorful sunsets.
The size and concentration of atmospheric particles in the path of incoming sunlight determine the type of sunset observed. When sunlight encounters very few particles in the atmosphere, most wavelengths of light reach the observer’s eyes with almost equal intensity. Red sunsets are often observed from a beach because of the high concentration of salt particles suspended in the air over the oceans.”- Sunsets
OK, but how do you know if and when there will be a high concentration of salt particles in the air? If only there were an app for that…
Well, for me, sometimes I call tell that there is going to be a beautiful sunset to photograph because certain indicators start to line up. There are usually interesting clouds in the sky, the clouds are not covering the horizon, and it is usually a lower tide so the wet sand can reflect the sky. Sometimes though, I am proven wrong and I find myself sprinting down the the water’s edge. That’s what makes trying to capture a sunset so special…you just never know!
In my opinion, the most amazing sunsets happen during the rainy season (June-November) when there are clouds in the sky. During the dry season (summer, December- May), the sunset pretty much is the same everyday…a big, giant sun dropping over the horizon every afternoon. However, once again, the big yellow ball sunsets sometimes surprise you! For me, there usually is a magic couple of minutes that capture the best photos. I love looking back at my photos, from just before the sun sets to dusk, and reviewing the changing colors and the increasing beauty as Mother Nature puts on her show. Check it out for yourself!
And voilà…the finished product!
This sunset was too beautiful not to share it with y’all…