Anatomy of a Nice Kyoto Sunset
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The other day I posted “This Evening's Sunset in Kyoto”, a photo that I really like of yet another not-too-bad Kyoto sunset, taken from the Shogunzuka overlook (将軍塚) that I often visit in hopes of a nice sunset.

As the proximity-search “nearby photos” link under that photo (and those below) shows, I post lots of shots taken from up there, most recently “A Typhoon Makes for a Good Sunset (But It’s Me That Makes It Great)a month and a half ago, and a week before that, “Bland Sunset Over Kyoto: They Can’t All Be Amazing”.

I've been up a dozen times since then, with little or nothing much to show for it until the day before yesterday's sunset, which was certainly nice, but sadly it wasn't on par with the greatest sunset I'd ever seen, but nice is still nice, so I'm happy.

Usually I have hope but little expectation, but yesterday's late-afternoon sky was encouraging...

Looks Extremely Promising to the trained eye  --  Shogunzuka (将軍塚)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Looks Extremely Promising
to the trained eye

The important points here in my theory is that the cloud cover is high, and breaks up toward the western horizon. For a burning sky you want solid cloud cover to be lit from below, which can happen just at/after sunset if the far western horizon is clear. An hour before sunset looked promising, so I drove up, and half an hour before sunset I took the shot above, and it still looked promising.

The guy with the powerful binoculars is a fixture up there, and apparently quite the conversationalist. As people come and go, he's always engaging folks in conversation in such a way that few people leave quickly... without exception they genuinely seem to enjoy his conversation and the things he points out with his binoculars. I've seen him dozens of times, and made my greetings when we're the only two there, but even when we're the only two there, he's never spoken a word to me. Odd.

Anyway, back to the unfolding sunset...

Proverbial Silver Lining 23 minutes before sunset  --  Shogunzuka (将軍塚)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 86mm cropped — 1/1600 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Proverbial Silver Lining
23 minutes before sunset
desktop background image of a nice sunset over Kyoto, Japan, from the Shogunzuka (将軍塚) overlook  --  Sun Appears a Bit  --  Shogunzuka (将軍塚)  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 90mm — 1/400 sec, f/11, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Sun Appears a Bit
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Final Rays  --  Shogunzuka (将軍塚)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/400 sec, f/9, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Final Rays

Here again, in its place in the chronology, is the photo from the nice-sunset post the other day...

desktop background image of a nice sunset over Kyoto, Japan, from the Shogunzuka Overlook (京都の夕焼け、将軍塚から)  --  Shogunzuka (将軍塚)  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
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A friend told me yesterday that he didn't care for this photo, and I instinctively felt that it's likely for exactly the same can't-put-your-finger-on-it reason that I really like it. It's got a certain too-good-to-be-true travel-brochure look that in this case appeals to me, but I can understand some folks being somehow turned off by it.

desktop background image of a nice sunset over Kyoto, Japan, from the Shogunzuka (将軍塚) overlook  --  Nite Nite Mr. Sun  --  Shogunzuka (将軍塚)  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/2500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Nite Nite Mr. Sun
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Behind the Mountains still seven minutes before sunset  --  Shogunzuka (将軍塚)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 175mm — 1/400 sec, f/10, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Behind the Mountains
still seven minutes before sunset
Storms Brewing to the West  --  Shogunzuka (将軍塚)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/250 sec, f/10, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Storms Brewing to the West
Starting To Get Good at nominal sunset  --  Shogunzuka (将軍塚)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/10, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Starting To Get Good
at nominal sunset
Five Minutes After Sunset  --  Shogunzuka (将軍塚)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/400 sec, f/7.1, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Five Minutes After Sunset
Gathered Crowd  --  Shogunzuka (将軍塚)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Gathered Crowd
Slowly Turning Pink before turning gray then black  --  Shogunzuka (将軍塚)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 105mm — 1/400 sec, f/4.5, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Slowly Turning Pink
before turning gray then black

The next day's sunset (yesterday's) was also nice, made all the more so because I experienced it from a roof-top beer garden with friends (and my camera, of course), so perhaps we'll see it here as well if any of the photos came out...


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