Iona Beach Sunset

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Very few people could have missed the absolutely incredible sunset in Vancouver that happened this Friday night, one of the very best I’ve seen since I moved here!

The late afternoon clouds promised that there might be an interesting sunset, but more often than not the promising conditions fade away as the sun approaches the horizon. On Friday night, as it got later, it got cloudier, and I was less and less convinced there would be a good sunset. Despite that, after a quick check of the position of the sun when it set and study of the map, I headed to Iona Beach, near the airport, to see what I could get.

To get a clear view of the sunset, I had to walk almost to the end of Iona Beach, which against a surprisingly strong headwind took almost half an hour. I set up and watched as the sun got lower and lower, suddenly breaking through just before it set, and was pretty pleased with what I was getting. Once the sun had set, I was tempted to set off back to the car, but that’s always risky, so I waited my usual ten minutes to see if we’d get any post-sunset glow.

At first, things looked fairly disappointing, but as it approached ten minutes after sunset, the sky began to light up with amazing pinks, reds and oranges. And then it kept getting better. And better! This shot was taken an amazing 25 minutes after sunset, at the peak of the colour, which by this time made the beach look like an alien landscape, with the incredible colours reflecting off the sand, my clothes, and my camera bag!

It was a mad rush to grab as many shots as I could, while battling with trying to keep the tripod steady in the wet sand, and cleaning the lens every 30 seconds due to the spray from the strong headwind. But as the colours got stronger and stronger, I had to let out a whoop of disbelief — fortunately, I was the only person on the beach!

Photographed at ISO 100, f/11, with a 10 second exposure, using a 3-stop graduated ND filter and circular polariser, during a sunset that I’ll remember for the rest of my life!

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