Interpreting a sunset

This is a picture of a sunset I managed to capture through my camera lens while returning from work last Thursday.


Admittedly, its neither the best picture of a sunset you’ll ever come across, nor do I plan to write about how it symbolizes natural beauty or how it gives us the hope to face the dark night and wait for the pleasant dawn. We’ve read all that before, haven’t we? Instead, I want to put into perspective a few thoughts that crossed my mind and certain observations which I made in those 5-10 minutes.

I saw this scene while on a steep incline on the road. Capturing natural scenery is all about the right timing, and by the time I parked my vehicle to the side of the road and managed to click the picture, the Sun had started dropping behind the hills. This drew my mind to the notion of the time we spend between spotting an occasion / opportunity and taking efforts to capitalize on it. I’m not saying that its good to be foolhardy or jump in without thinking or planning, but many a deal, both in our professional and private lives, is lost due to this one fact. The people who we term as ‘successful’ have the uncanny ability to minimize this time interval to as low a value as possible, not hesitate, think logically, take calculated risks and come out on the brighter side.

Somewhat similar was my next observation. I started back after clicking this picture and had traveled just a few meters when I saw that there was a small valley between two adjacent hills. Obviously the Sun was still visible through this space, and the sight of the setting Sun locked between two hills was spectacular to say the least. Then why didn’t I click a picture of this panorama? Some distance in the foreground was a small garbage dump and lots of white smoke billowing from it. The smoke had risen to such a height that it had ruined any chance of a shot being clicked without depicting it. As you’ll see, when I clicked the above picture, the opportunity that was in store for me in the perceived future was a whole lot better, potentially, but I could not have guessed the actual ground conditions beforehand. In the wait of a ‘better opportunity’, I would have forfeited my ‘best chance’!

Isn’t it amazing how such little things coupled with some out-of-the-box thinking tell us so much about the life we lead!


16 thoughts on “Interpreting a sunset

  1. Being in the right time and place, of course, seems to be the secret behind so many things in life 🙂 And in photography unless you are a professional who carefully observes, researches, and plans the shots more often than not, the magic of digital camera affords the rest us the luxury of shooting as many as we want and not worry about wasting a shot! And we may find in beauty in unexpected places, things, events – even in burning garbage – Life never ceases to amaze us all 🙂

    • Absolutely, life never ceases to amaze in its own unique ways! 🙂 Being in the right place at the right time is important, but probably more important is ‘knowing’ that you are there, and not letting life slip by while we are waiting for miracles to happen. I agree with the thing you said about digital photography; sometimes being amateur is good because it means having less ‘expectation’ (or ego) and more ‘appreciation’ with the same amount of ‘enthusiasm’ 🙂

  2. Nice post Nikhil. I always experience the same anxiety while encountering with a sunset with camera. Most shots fail, but one comes so good, that you remember that place and time for ever. Happy clicking!!

    • Thanks 🙂 .. I agree, its tricky when it comes to a capturing a picture of a sunrise or a sunset, but as with anything that is ‘natural’ and beautiful, timing always matters and it feels great when you do pull it off! Its amazing how you tend to recollect the story behind a particular picture many years later. 🙂

  3. I’m so glad I clicked on this! It combined so many of my loves: nature, photography, and non-cliched upliftiness. I shall explore your blog further now.

  4. Great point you make about success and being able to spot the right time and place. I agree- the successful just know how to take advantage of opportunities. It’s truly a gift to be able to think that way. I myself am a total non risk-taker. I will over analyze anything and everything until I’m forced to make a decision. Thanks for writing such a thought-provoking post!

    • My pleasure 🙂 .. I’m glad that it got you thinking. The risk-reward-success paradigm isn’t as much as a big deal than what we make of it most of the times. I’ve been on both sides, at times I’ve been hesitant and at other times I’ve brought all my chips into play (and even lost a big hand sometimes!), but I feel that its more about taking ‘informed’ decisions and following your gut feeling. Analysis isn’t bad, sometimes fear and prejudice comes into play too, but in the end its about crossing the mental barrier. The gift of ability which you talk about just comes naturally then!

  5. What a truly insightful blog you have created! Welldone.. & I’m so pleased I stumbled across it.!! 🙂 Your comments on the sunset shot are things I have thought myself, but kept to myself all the same.. Opportunities come & go & to live in regret is a shame.. but instead if we open our eyes wide we may gather wisdom along the way and in turn become more attuned to seize the moment.!!

    • Thank you for those compliments 🙂 .. and well said, you couldn’t have put it any better! Nature throws a lot of practical ideas at us, doesn’t it, if only we could decipher them all 🙂

    • Words like those are motivation enough! 🙂 To be honest with you, I had a few thoughts to sort out over that last few months, and am quite close to getting back my ‘mojo’ 🙂 You should see some activity on my blog soon.

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