Have you ever suddenly encountered what you felt was a totally incredible sunset?

And you were alone?

What is the first thing 99.9% of people will do when that awe-inspiring sunset happens?

They grab their phones. Take some photos. Then most likely “share” them in some shape or form.

You have to be there for the sunset – photos can’t capture the feeling

We’re personally the type of people that take sunsets (or sunrises) as they come. And purely enjoy experiencing them – and that is quite enough!

If we’re with someone during those moments – great – we can enjoy the moment together.

There have been some spectacular sunsets over the last few weeks (I recall a unique orange one when that Hurricane Dorian was off the coast). And it got me thinking about the reasons why those fleeting moments must be saved in a much lesser form. So the next sunset we saw – we decided to snap a few fast ones – and write this post.

Why isn’t the moment of individual awe enough?

Sunset photos are a dime a dozen - so why so many?

“Must share” has been happening for a long time

20 years ago – hardly anyone carried a camera with them. Photographers both professional and aspiring did – but it was rare.

And some seasoned photography veterans were skilled in taking some nice shots indeed. Now everyone has a smartphone and takes photos of almost everything they experience (as if the experience is no longer enough on its own!)

But even the best photo can absolutely never ever really give you that feeling you had when you saw the real sunset or sunrise. Why? Because of the 360 degrees and “3D” visuals that your eyes provide in a real physical environment.

You can see both the sunset – as well as the dark contrasting opposite side of the sky. You can watch the clouds move. The colors change. The wind blow, etc. The spectacular moments are also combined with the feeling you get as it fades away. It is quite a powerful experience – almost unexplainable. Much of the time – it’s even hard to hold on to that feeling at all!

Even the best 4K video on the biggest and best screen available cannot replicate what it is like in person.

And yet still to this day – most people think they can transfer that feeling to others by capturing and sharing. It just falls flat every time.

We think sunsets should be treated like those secret messages from the spy movies – that “self-destruct” in 30 seconds. I can think of 100 better subjects to photograph – that will have profoundly more impact on your memories – as well as the enjoyment for others!

Enjoy your day – and keep looking at the skies!

(PS – some might want to say to me – “what’s the harm?” And I’ll say – “there is no harm in taking photos of whatever you want!” I am just pointing out as a social observer – the massive influx of social sharing what amount to “you had to see that!” when in fact – most of those people on the receiving end of such “shares” could not. We just think it’s peculiar what has happened in the past two decades regarding sharing real moments – in essentially artificial environments – photos or not. As well as the phenomenon that today – most people are AFRAID that if they don’t take a photo or 100 – that “it did not happen.” It’s a real thing, and we just like talking about it!)

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About the author


NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.

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