Sunrise, Sunset- The Start and End of Our Days

The day begins and ends in the same kind of way but a different kind of way every day around the world. The beginning and end of a day are noted by sunrise to start the day and sunset to complete the day.  Let’s talk about these markers of time and some tips for viewing with photo ops. You may fall in love with sunrises and sunsets as much as myself. Sunrise, Sunset- The start and end of our days.

We may take this beautiful daily force of nature for granted.   Let’s stop and learn a little about them so you can be in awe of sunrises and sunsets too, as I share my favorite Sunrise and Sunset pics from the last eight months around America. See the link to blog on My favorite traveling sabbatical pictures.


Sunrise and Sunset Facts

  • The sun rises in the east from around 5 am to 7:30 am throughout the USA year-round. The sunsets in the west from 5 pm to 9 pm throughout the USA year-round.
  • MN sunrise is around 6:30 am this time of year in September and 7:50 pm for sunset. Florida sunrise is around 7 am and 7:30 pm sunset.
  • The blue and violet colors you see in the sunset are caused by the sunlight traveling through the atmosphere with a shorter wavelength and becoming scattered.
  • The longer wavelengths of light show a color like yellow, orange, and red.
  • Sunsets are more brilliant in colors because there are more air particles in the evening.
  • Sunrise and sunsets are each different and unique from day to day.

If you would like more info on sunrise and sunsets that kids can understand, check out this link.

First light

First Light and Last Light

Before the sun rises officially it is called dawn, twilight, or sunup.  This is a time that is equally as pretty as the sunrise. The sky begins to lighten before the sunrise.  This is the time I love the best.

The last light or dusk is when the sun sets and the sky finally becomes dark.  Some of the best photos are right after sunset before the last light.  The summer boasts many hours of daylight in Minnesota with a 5 am twilight and 10 pm or later dusk on the longest day of the year in June. 

Last light

Clouds and Weather

The clouds and weather will make an impact on your viewing of a sunrise or sunset.   If it is sunny with clouds, you will have a great sunset or sunrise. But sometimes the clouds can take over and the opportunity may be gone.  That has happened a few times for me. The clouds always make it more interesting as the sun reflects on the clouds especially if you also have water to reflect on.

Tips for watching

Watching a Sunrise or Sunset

Give yourself adequate time to watch the sunrise or sunset.   Get there at first light or stay until the last light.   With experience, you will know when it’s time to leave.   The sun will be fully above or below the horizon. It will take longer to see the full effects of mountains and anything in front of the landscape.

Dress warmly in a jacket or bring a blanket.   When the sun comes up or goes down the temps are still cold, because the sun hasn’t warmed the surroundings.   

Photo Tips for a Sunrise and Sunset

Getting the best pictures can take time.  You will want to sit through the whole sunset or sunrise. First light to sunrise and Sunset to Last light.   This is when the magic happens.

Stay longer
Stay Longer

Stay Longer than you Think

Don’t walk away thinking it’s over, because you may miss your photo op. There have been many times I have started to walk away at the end of the sunset and in 3 minutes it got even better.   I had to turn around to take my favorite pics of the night.  

 I can’t tell when you will get the best picture, because every day and night is different.   Some nights or mornings, you may have what I call a dud sunset or sunrise.   It starts great then ends in clouds.  I have been cut short many times.

My dud
My Dud Sunset- pretty in its own way

Be Spontaneous

It is great if you can just snap a picture spontaneously.  That has happened a few times.  Pull the car over, I need to get a picture, or come over here the sunset is amazing right now.  

spontaneous Sunset

Be Intentional

I do know you have to be intentional about getting pictures of sunrises and sunsets.  When we lived in our home, I could never get a picture from our house because other houses or trees were blocking my view of the great light display from God.

I had to take mental pictures in my head or make a point of going to the beach or going for a walk with an open area so I could get a picture.  

Water, Mountains, and Desert 

My favorite sunsets and sunrises are over water because of the reflections. The mountains and desert make for some great sunsets too.   You need to take time to notice them and enjoy them if you can’t get a picture of them.

Monument Valley

Savoring Sunsets and Sunrises

Take time to savor the sunrise and sunset.   Enjoy the first light or last light to the fullest.   Remember the temperature out and the sounds and who was with you.   Take time and talk to God while you enjoy it or quiet your heart and spirit.   Enjoy your surroundings fully and Remember It.

If you want more information on savoring moments check out my blog on Savoring the moments in life.


 Love You From God

I like to think that Sunrises and Sunsets are daily reminders from God that say I love you.   I created the world and this day is for you from the beginning to the end.   Enjoy your day and glorify me in your day.  God says, “Good night my child, I love you and have a good rest until my next morning hug”.

The days begin and the days end with a simple I love you or a hug from God.

Take time and enjoy those sunrises and sunsets each day. Savoring them, or taking pics of them.   We can thank God for those markers in our time and day.

Be Still
Be Still and Know that I am God

Sunrise, Sunset Song

I will leave you with the words to a song.   It always comes to mind when I see a sunrise and sunset.

Sunrise, Sunset

Sunrise, Sunset

Swiftly flow the days.

Seedling turn overnight to sunflowers

Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, Sunset

Sunrise, Sunset

Swiftly, fly the years

One Season Following another

Laden with happiness and tears.

By Jerry Bock/ Sheldon Harnick

Sunrise sunset- it is well with my soul

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2 thoughts on “Sunrise, Sunset- The Start and End of Our Days”

  1. In Hawaii, people do sunrises and sunsets on a regular basis. They bring beverages, cameras, chairs, snacks, tripods, or just walk the beach. On some of the beaches on the East coast they did the same. I bet anywhere there is water…there is this tradition!

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