Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Proper Sunset Design.

Remember my summer solstice post in which I bewailed the East Coast design flaw which places the sun on the wrong side of the ocean, ruining many of the finest & potentially most romantic ones by placing them over parking lots?

Well, it was wonderful to be back in a place where the setting sun is placed in the proper relation to the sea:

Of course, it is not always possible to arrange for quite such perfect composition. But in cases where it is necessary for the sun to be more in-shore, the delinquency can be masked or even rectified by proper application of scenic elements, as we see in the following:

Silhouetted beachgoers savoring the end of the day are good, especially families with children and frolicsome sandy dogs. I believe there are those who would vote in favor of a slender wahine in a backlit pareo as proper foreground - my apologies to you folks, this being a G-rated blog you get the families with the keiki & the dog, Maybe Joe can help you out. Here in Kailua, we also see good use of a sweeping white sand beach, admirably restrained use of Mountain and Cloud elements, and the Kite punctuates things nicely.

Here we see another skillful use of beachgoers. The Reflective Lagoon foreground gives a mirror image effect nearly as effective as the sun setting directly into the sea, with the barely-visible curving gunwales of the kayaks that the beachboys have stowed for the night adding a nicely wistful touch. But of course, what truly makes this one is the generous use of Graceful Palms. Funny, they're such a common & familiar element, one could look down one's nose & pooh-pooh them as cliche - but I think that to any but the most tragically jaded of sunset viewers, they remain a truly lovely part of the Classic Island Sunset.

Now here is a much more dramatic use of Mountains and Clouds, with some great God Rays (as my friend Laurie likes to call them - Jamaica Bay actually does a very good job with the God Rays). And of course what sunset isn't improved by the insertion of Sailboats? Moored or sailing, like Graceful Palms, it's just hard to have too many. The simultaneous use of both moored AND sailing sailboats might seem to be a little over-the-top - but really, I think it was a design risk that paid off. Don't you?

Let's see, what else is there that improves any sunset? Hey, I know...

how about a nice
(have you guessed now?)

Kona Brewing Company's Longboard Lager, in this case!

yes, this might even render one of those sad East Coast Parking Lot Sunsets more palatable.

Thus endeth Bonnie K. Frogma's Introduction to Sunset Design. I hope you enjoyed it.

I'd like to close with this last photo, one that shows one of the marks of a truly well-done sunset, a full three-hundred-and-sixty degree circle of Aaaaah. Yes, I was actually facing directly away from the sun. Just add Diamond Head!


Joe said...

Lovely, I can smell Hawaii in those photos. Thank you for sharing them with us.

P.S. Do you know Mark Denzer? He circumnavigated Oahu in his El Toro. Great guy.

Reverend Shari said...

Hey, anyone can get inspired and fall in love in Hawaii. But feeling moved by the parking lot sunset...well, it just shows New Yorkers are hard on the outside but squishy on the inside.

pia said...

Wow Bonnie. Over the past 5 or so years I have watched your writing style evolve, and it's wonderful!
The pictures are good also :)
Funny, I always thought the East had great sunsets over the Sound and/or Intercoastal and sunrises over the ocean!

bonnie said...

Oh, I had a great time with this one. I took so many pictures out there, this is the only way I can make sense out of them - one theme at a time.

Taking pictures of every ridiculous thing that caught my eye was one of the nice things about going on my own. There are so many places & things out there that had some significance from "small-kid-time" that I just walked by the last time I visited my folks out there, because I was embarrassed to stop & take pictures of everything when other people were going to have to wait for me.

I don't think that anyone would have been annoyed with me for the sunset pictures. In fact the Turtle Bay Hilton sunset (1st 5 shots & the one sunset where I'd specifically sought out a perfect location - the others were all just going on in places where I happened to be) was one of the moments where I was wishing I could teleport TQ out for the moment - perfect weather, knock-your-eyes-out sunset, a nice soft lawn to sit on & a cold beer? That's when you want your honey, right?

But then there were moments when I'd stop for twenty minutes to take pictures of stupid-seeming things like trailside weeds. I did take those with a very specific intent, you'll see the end result sometime in the next few days -- but nevertheless, moments like that, I was so grateful to be flying solo & not making anybody wait for me!

bonnie said...

PS - Joe, he circumnavigated WHAT in his WHAT? My goodness! How many days did it take? Broken up to take advantage of weather & prevailing swell, or consecutive sections? There's at least one kayak group out there where the main goal is to paddle all the way around, they plan their segments to be wherever conditions are pleasantest, you just keep track of the bits you've done until one day you mark off the last one on your chart & say "There! Done!"

I would totally do that if I ever managed to get myself out there for a more extended period of time.

JP said...

I love a good sunset, and agree that water is essential though a river like the Thames is as good!

Over where am now in Cornwall it would be washed down by a strong pint of Tribute or Dunbar

JP said...

Oops think that should have been Doonbar

bonnie said...

Yes, actually I will admit that the Hudson River, New York Harbor, Jamaica Bay & even our humble Paerdegat Basin all do work reasonably well for sunset enhancement - and the LI shore of the Sound would probably work quite nicely too. TQ & I did our romantic beach walking on the CT shore, though.

bonnie said...

fun thing about a mid-sized island, of course, is that if you're an early riser, you can catch the sunrise from one shore, then head over to the other side for sunset!

And JP, if you ever happen to find yourself watching a sunset in Brooklyn, the appropriate libation would naturally be one of the many fine offerings from the Brooklyn Brewery.

And that also makes me think...I bet sunset in Oban pairs beautifully with a dram of Oban!

Joe said...

Bonnie, here's a link to Mark's log that he sent to me and I posted back in 2008.

O Docker said...

Loved the sunsets and the turtle pix. What struck me most, reading between the lines - or maybe between the captions - was just how happy you seemed there - more than 'I'm on vacation' happy.

Dr. O Docker thinks the kayak is your Wayback Machine to when you were a kid. Just my take.

And oh, they've installed a pretty cool bridge in SF - mainly as a frame for our sunsets.

Carol Anne said...


Pat said...

So if we get to sail a boat under that bridge, we'll need to alert some local folks to get our picture!

Pandabonium said...

Great post. The best sunsets in my memory were seen from Maui (especially ones with a green flash) and Taveuni island, Fiji. Must be the atmosphere in the Tropics.