I've collected so many awesome sunrise/sunset shots from my travels over the years, but like a very bad scientist, I never labeled anything. And as my blog opened its very own IG page, and I started scrolling through iPhoto for awesome uploads to share with the nomadic world who would possibly sleep or wake up under the same skies, I had the same question pending: Which one is it? So, I put myself to the test. Do you think you can pass the Sunrise vs Sunset Test? Well, after I drop a little bit of wiki knowledge on you, there'll be a little post test. Deal? or No deal? Ahhh, just go all in today. You're not really winning anything.
Is There Really A Difference?
As the sun rises, the atmosphere is cooler. Throughout the day that changes, as well as the amount of smog accumulation, especially if you live near a city. Along with added moisture and floating particles from people traffic all day, the sunrise that arrives with cool air, sporting possible tints of blue, will start to set, with perhaps some red brilliance. All in all, the deadliest give away, that might win you Howie Mandel's million dollar briefcase, is the suns' actual position at the moment your shutter captures its stunning color scape.
What more can I say? It's an age old question. But the more important question is less related to whether you can tell the difference between the two, and more about: How does it make you feel? If you don't know the answer to that question, you haven't witnessed enough of them. So, I'm assigning homework along with your post test.
HOMEWORK: On your next travel adventure, get up before sunrise and head East. Go till you find an appropriate log to sit on, or BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket - what else did you think I meant?), and get your camera ready. At dinner time, right before it sets, head West, find a different log to sit on, and/or BYOB, and watch the sun magically go to sleep for the evening. Then walk back, open up your computer, and answer my question. How did it make you feel?