Look up: amazing November sunsets

They kick in before 5 p.m.--worth making the effort to check out

It happens every year like clockwork.

Consistent,  amazing beach sunsets out here in California every November and December.

Life moves on, and we forget about them. Then, when the next to last month of the year comes back into our lives again, we remember. Again. #Wow!

Just a friendly reminder today to our readers to step outside, grab your phone and take a moment to experience one of the great free wonders of the world: the multi-colored November sunset.

Specifically, in Los Angeles, we’re talking 4:43 p.m. to see the sun drop on Monday, 4:52 on Tuesday and Wednesday, 4:51 on Thursday and 4:50 on Friday. If you can’t get out until the weekend, mark 4:49 for Saturday and 4:48 for Sunday.

The best place to check this stuff is a great website called Time and Date, where you can type in the name of your location and get specific sun drops for your area. I did a quick check of other cities, from New York to Seattle, and while the exact minutes are different, they are all near the 5 o’clock hour.

Remember, however, that it’s not actually the sunset that’s the stunner, but the 10-15 minutes afterwards, when the colors glow their brightest.

Take the time to do this, and remember that once you’re out there catching the scene, everyone’s in a great mood. No one’s arguing. Everyone’s in total agreement that what they’re seeing is pretty darn amazing.

The big question: why are the sunsets so amazing this time of year?

In a word: because the earth moves closer to the sun in the winter. Per KCRW: “The beautiful colors from a sunset are caused by the atmosphere. As the sun gets lower and lower in the sky, its light passes through more and more air layers—compared to noontime, when the sun is directly overhead. And those layers are filled with dust and water particles. This causes the sun’s light to bend as if through a prism, scattering the blue light in favor of reds, oranges, and purples.”

And it’s not just a California thing. According to the Weather Channel, for instance, New York sunsets are stellar on the cusp of Summer and Winter Solstice. (12/21 is the date this year to jot down!) There’s even a term for it: Manhattanenge, per Wikipedia, whenthe setting sun or the rising sun is aligned with the east–west streets of the main street grid of Manhattan.  

Googling around for winter sunset explanations, I stumbled onto a silly article from Fodor’s on the “Best Sunsets in America.” It picked all the usual suspects: Los Angeles, Hawaii, New Mexico, Grand Canyon, Florida, etc. I’m betting they’re great wherever you live. The key ingredient: some clouds to doll up the colors, which is one reason the winter sunsets look so cool.

Readers in New York, Atlanta, Bozeman, Seattle, etc.—do me a favor and grab your best sunset this week and share them with me. I’d love to see what everything looks like in your special place!

Finally—it’s not just capturing the colors. They are other things to factor in while shooting your sunset as well. I’m looking to produce a video this week that will outline everything you need to know on this. Coming soon.

Finally, many people have asked if they could buy prints of my sunset shots. Of course! Happy to help. Just click the BUY button here: https://www.jeffersongraham.net/Jefferson-Graham-Portfolio/Travel-Photography/SoCal-Beach-Cities/Manhattan-Beach-Sunsets/

Elsewhere from election week:

SAIL AWAY: Wouldn’t you love to quit your boring job to sail the world and be funded for your adventure? That’s just what happened to Brian Trautman, who in 2009 quit his software job, bought himself a $400,000 sailboat and headed out to sea. Today, he and his wife and young daughter are still out on the waters, funded by “patrons” on the Patreon website, and YouTube, which shares advertising revenues generated on the videos he creates from the boat for his Sailing SV Delos channel.

FLYING CAMERAS: Many of you know that I’m a huge fan of drones. To me they are the most amazing technology unveiled in the last decade. You take this device, throw it in the air, it captures amazing footage while up there, and then returns to sender. So I got a kick out of checking out the new DJI Mini II drone, which is the most affordable, smallest, easy to operate drone I’ve come across. It sells for $449, but would be expected to be discounted during the holidays, and I couldn’t be happier with the footage I’ve seen so far. Take a look:

TWEETS: Yes, this week has been all about politics. So congrats to the president elect, and now, we try to answer a question I’m sure you’ve thought about. How will Twitter treat the ex-president Donald Trump come 1/21?

VIDEO BOUNCE: You’ve seen it a zillion times. We’re making a video and talking into the camera as we walk. But since human beings tend to bounce when they stroll, the video takes a bounce too. Meanwhile, there are several new cameras promising amazing image stabilization. Are they good enough to prevent or minimize the bounce? So I set out to find out, in a new video comparing how the iPhone 12 Pro, GoPro Hero 9 and DJI Pocket 2 camera handles the “walk and talk” shot.
Which of these cameras does a better job smoothing your bounce? I left the answer open-ended in the video below because I’d love for you to take a look and let me know your verdict. (I have one though. I think there’s a clear winner.) Let me know what you think, and we’ll compare notes!

Tweet of the week

That’s a wrap for this week. I might be back at you tomorrow with some big news, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, if you enjoyed today’s edition, please let me know by clicking the HEART tab or sending me a reply. If you’re down by the Manhattan Beach Pier this week during magic sunset hour, come over and say hi!