It’s hard to imagine two subjects that are more over-photographed than sunsets and flowers. Of course, there’s a reason that something is a popular subject for photography. It’s wonderful to make images of flowers, and as I ask in the introduction to Photographing Flowers: Exploring Macro Worlds with Harold Davis, “How can we not want to capture this ephemeral and bold stand against the entropy and chaos of the universe?”
The virtues of sunset to the serious photographer are also greater than one might suppose based on all the awful images of sunsets out there, and also the disdain of the professional cadre for imagery that depicts the setting of the sun. Each and every sunset reminds of us of our place in the solar system, and also the passage of time. I am reminded of Galen Rowell’s remark that every photographer only has a certain and fixed number of sunsets—so one should witness every single one of them. This may be overkill, but leaving metaphysics aside it is true that some of the most interesting light in the field occurs right around sunset.
So as a photographer I love the sunset time of day. Also, it’s fun to turn the double cliché on its head, and approach combining sunsets and flowers in an unusual way. With this shot of a setting sun seen through a cherry blossom I relied on the fact that throwing the sun way out-of-focus makes it appear much larger. With my camera on my tripod, I used my 105mm macro lens combined with an extension tube. My aperture was wide open, and I focused on the very close cherry blossom to make the sun seem even larger than life. I finished the image with a texture overlay to make it seem even more painterly and dreamy.