Over the course of four years, a photographer managed to take stunning shots of sunsets and sunrises from all over the world, even if he only had 15 minutes every day to take the best shot.
Thirty-five-year-old Paul Reiffer traveled the world just to catch a glimpse of the sun setting and rising at some popular destinations. He waited patiently for the dusk and dawn to arrive in order to get spectacular shots using his 80MP Phase One camera, which is worth just over $46,000.
Bay Bridge Sunset, San Francisco, US
Death Valley, California, US
Bonsai Rock Sunset, Lake Tahoe, California, US
Empire State Building Sunset, New York, US
It’s not every day that Paul gets to see a perfect sunrise or sunset. He said, “It all depends on the sky. The light and colors you get at sunset and sunrise are completely different to the rest of the day. You get stunning colors in the sky and water. Normally, if it is completely clear, the shot is boring. You need the right amount of clouds, but when there is fog, you can’t do anything.
“Taking travel and everything else into account, it probably costs about $7500 to $9200 to go and shoot somewhere. I will never leave a place without two or three images that I’m happy with. Generally, if the first shot I get is bad, I’ll go back the next day and the day after that until I get it.”
He recalled one incident in which he had to go back for a couple of times to get the perfect shot. He shared, “There is one shot I have been trying to get for about 10 years, which is of the Golden Gate Bridge peaking out of the fog at sunrise. I have been there 40 or 50 times. I need a lot of things to be in the right place at the right time. I need the sunrise to be in the right position with lots of low fog, a clear sky, and no wind.”
Financial District Dawn, New York, US
Forbidden City Sunrise, Beijing, China
Guilin Sunrise, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
Horseshoe Bend Sunset, Arizona, US
Jetty Sunrise, Huvafen Fushi Island, Maldives
Lake Wanaka Sunset, Otago, New Zealand
Paul gave three hints as to when are the best possible times to get the perfect light conditions for taking remarkable photos. First is at sunset, just before the sun hits the horizon. At this moment, you can take wonderful shots of reflections on water before all the light goes flat. Second is when the sun hits the horizon. Though it only lasts for about five minutes, you can still capture the sun’s “clear, golden glow.” And finally, 20 minutes after sunset. This is the time when bright and vivid colors bring beauty to the sky.
Moeraki Boulders Sunset, Otago Coast, New Zealand
Pigeon Point Sunset, California, US
Pulpit Rock Sunset, Portland, Dorset, England
As a photographer who has taken lots of photos of the sun, he also has his own favorites. He shared, “Some of my favorite shots—like the ones of the Moeraki boulders and Glenorchy—were taken facing away from the sun. I also like the Bay Bridge photo because it was the first time I learned that if you have to struggle and hike somewhere to get a sunset shot, you will also be struggling in pitch black to get back. Another one of my favorites is the one of Pulpit Rock at Portland in Dorset because it’s literally two minutes away from where I live in England. It’s always above my desk, wherever I am. It’s home.”
Sydney Dawn, Australia
Sydney Opera House Sunrise, Sydney, Australia
Before he got into photography, Paul worked as a model. However, he became disappointed of being in front of the camera all the time.
After living for a couple of years in Shanghai, he decided to move back to the United Kingdom. He said, “I have always taken photos, and I keep every single one, even since I was seven or eight and snapping away at Disneyland. I started out photographing models, but in about 2011 or 2012, I decided that people are a pain in the a**e and ended up doing landscapes.”
The Cobb Sunrise, Lyme Regis, England
Tokyo Tower Dusk, Tokyo, Japan
Venice Dawn, Italy