My Visions Of A Sunset

A sunset photo taken at Harbor Square, Manila, Philippines (c)pauldavid

A sunset photo taken at Harbor Square, Manila, Philippines (c)pauldavid

It’s 545 pm. People passing by Manila bay will surely know that this is the time of the day when you have to sit back and enjoy the best view there is: the SUNSET.

I love sunsets. People closest in my life knew that, and you will know it once you see that most of the photos I take are all related to sunsets.

But most of the time, I want to savor the view by myself. Why such love? Why such passion on this everyday phenomenon? It is because I relate sunset to the way I see life:


Literally and figuratively, the sunset displays a majestic array of light and color. Perhaps the best part for me is around 10 minutes after the sun has gone down. Some of my friends in photography call it “the golden hour”. Funny how they call it an hour when in fact it only lasts for minutes. Anyway, this is the time where the usual yellow tone fades, and the sky gives off this awesome hues of blue and orange. Some sunset give off this fiery red hue, some deep yellow. Each sunset is unique, the way life is everyday.


As a sunset photographer, I value each minute I spend shooting the sun the way I value the fact that it will only be short-lived. I always advise my friends that “every minute counts” when it comes to sunsets.  The perfect hue only happens in a span of 3-5 minutes, and that’s all the time you have to capture this majestic view.

Timed to perfection. The mountain, ship and sailboat make up the elements to this sunset photo. (c) pauldavid

The same goes with our lives. Almost always, the best things happen only for a short time, and the best opportunities come rarely. Learning to appreciate the things that you have makes life more meaningful. Learning to grab each  opportunity makes  every effort worthwhile. Never waste a minute looking at nothing. As I mentioned earlier, sunsets happen everyday, but it is not everyday that you see the good ones. At times, the sun is already covered by the gloomy clouds, and believe me, you can’t help but sigh and stare at something else. So if you see a good one, stop and stare at its beauty.

Shooting the sunset is not as simple as it sounds. The timing must be perfect. I remember when I do shoots like these, I make sure that my camera settings are right, and every accessory and device are in place once the hues start turning deep yellow. Composition is another thing. You just don’t shoot and go away. You have to time the elements perfectly. The sunset isn’t just about the sun, but also the things that come with it — the mountain, the boats, etc. The sun creates perfect silhouttes for these elements.
So if you’ve prepared well enough,  that perfect moment creates the perfect shot.
In our life, the perfect moment comes rarely. And if it does, it’s either you don’t see it coming, or you’re not ready for it. The perfect career opportunity knocks at your door when you least expect it, and it’s up to you to grab it or ignore it. The person who is perfect for you can possibly come once in your life, and it’s all in your hands to change your fate.

A rare view of the cotton candy sky. Taken at Tagaytay, Philippines. (c)pauldavid

Question is, are you ready?

Are you ready to pull all the stops for the perfect view? Will you appreciate the beauty of your everyday life, or are you just one of those many who see life as an everyday struggle, bringing the negativities and affecting the people around them?

Are you ready to pause for a moment, think of how your life has been and how will it be for the days to come? Are you willing to take a break out of your busy schedule and appreciate the things that you tend to ignore?
The sunset, the way I see it, is an opportunity to savor the different facets of what you have in your life.  It is also an opportunity to plan the things you need to do to have what you want in your life. Make every moment count, because once the sun has actually set already, no one really knows if you’ll get the same view again.

6 thoughts on “My Visions Of A Sunset

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