How To Look At A Sunset

© Copyright 2022, Fatima Hammoud, Ryerson University

Sunsets are the earth’s way of telling the world it’s time to rest. As the sunsets, as does everything around it. People begin to make their way home and the little creatures settle themselves to bed, making way for their night friends to come out and explore the quiet night skies. 

Sunsetting in the horizon Sky filled with stratus clouds.
© Copyright Fatima Hammoud, “Evening Sunset.” Toronto, Ontario. March 16, 2020.

This image was captured on March 16, 2020, at 7:16 pm. That evening I decided to take a walk down the neighbourhood and stopped, noticing this amazing sight. In this picture, the sun is spotted on the horizon settling down into the earth, and spreading its last bit of light across the cloudy clear sky. The sky gives a reflection of the sun’s rays as though it were set above a bay of water. Everything beneath begins to go dark, being cast off by a shadow of darkness, even though the sky still shines bright. The stillness in the air as the sun is fading is a beautiful momentum of a long day’s worth. The light posts standing high and tall look like soldiers waiting for the sun’s command to turn on and bring light into the soon darkened streets for all those mundanes heading home or for those leaving for a night-long stroll.  You notice the clouds beginning to disburse and come together like a curtain for the sun’s final exit.

Sunsets are made to be admired with gratitude and awe, thanking the higher being for another beautiful day on this earth. It’s mesmerizing to look at the sky filled with its different shades of colour and its beauty. Staring and wondering how can something so beautiful truly exist? In the words of James Elkin:  

 “Our eyes are far too good for us. They show us so much that we can’t take it all in, so we shut out most of the world, and try to look at things as briskly and efficiently as possible. What happens if we stop and take the time to look more carefully? Then the world unfolds like a flower, full of colours and shapes that we had never suspected.” (Elkin, 10) 

Our eyes do not have decisive beauty which is why we cannot truly capture and express the power of delicacy that are sunsets. No sunset it’s truly alike, each one is a new sight making it all the more magical. The perspective that this photo shows is different for everyone. One may only notice the beautiful sky and fail to notice the naked tree in the corner or roofs of all the cars filling the street. More closely you can see the old telephone booth, across from the bus stop. Beyond that, there are tops buildings blending into the background. One stares long enough they notice the red light on the traffic sign. These little details are missed if one only stares up. Who can blame them? When there is such a beautiful view, why be concerned with all the reality happening around you? Stopping to see a sunset you get lured in the captivating view. The world pauses for a moment, and reality stops to embrace the moment and remember that the day has come to an end. Mother nature is telling you it’s time to rest in the most graceful way; twilight.


Works Cited

 Elkin, James. “How To Use Your Eyes.” New York, 2000. Pdf

Hammoud, Fatima. “Evening Sunset.” March 16, 2020. Digital Photograph. Private Collection.

Images in this online exhibit are either in the public domain or being used under fair dealing for the purpose of research and are provided solely for the purposes of research, private study, or education.