On January 17th, Toronto was hit with record snowfall. Some areas accumulated a whopping 60cm of snow! We definitely were snowed in at my house and I knew that there was no way I’d be going anywhere for days to come. A part of me is still dejected that I wasn’t able to get true blizzard shots but I also know it would have been unsafe to venture out. The conditions were terrible. But in the same way that an intense sunset is more likely to happen after a summer storm, the same can be said for snow storms!
I was indoors when I noticed the sky above the backyard was turning orange. The snow had lessened by that point but my heart sank to my stomach knowing that I wouldn’t be able to travel to get photos of what looked to be a promising sunset. I ran to the front of the house to look outside and sure enough, the sky was transforming into a beautiful mix of red and orange. While it wasn’t ideal, I wasn’t about wallow in self pity when I could get my winter gear on, and take photos from the street. And that’s exactly what I did. I’m so relieved that I was able to capture the beautiful sky without having to go out of my way.
If you read my previous post, I mentioned that my next would contain the sunset from that same evening. What I was expecting was definitely not a sunset this vibrant. I ended up shooting these photos at another spot a little ways off. To get down to the shore to achieve that, I had to go down a steep and snowy hill. I’m so glad I wasn’t alone as that made the trek easier lest I fall on my face into the snow.
When I looked up at the landscape before me, I felt like the main character in a movie. It was so unreal, I couldn’t believe it. I was also really relieved I had this vantage point, as I wouldn’t have been able to see the sunset in its entirety like this had I stayed in my original spot. Shout out to my brother who found this area while I stayed to take photos in the other one!
When the swans came out to play, I couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face. A vibrant sunset and two swans playing around in the lake? How lucky was I? I really wanted to get a photo of the both of them above the water but it’s almost as if they were teasing me. When one would resurface, the other would lower its head into the water. After a while, the sunset faded enough that there was no point in waiting any longer. But even so, I was far from disappointed!
I never associated bright and vivid sunsets with winter but I’ve been proven wrong this season. My past thinking was mostly due to the sunset happening earlier in the day. This meant I was more likely to miss it. Since our sunsets here happen around 4:30pm at the earliest, it’s more difficult to venture out at that time. Compared to summer, when sunsets are around 9pm at the latest, it becomes quite obvious that the extra time makes quite a difference. Even if there’s no spectacular sunset in the summer, one can still enjoy the warm summer evening instead of trekking home in the cold winter weather.
Such an intense summer sunset!! I was at my usual spot waiting for sundown, but unfortunately the sky remained dull and unchanging. So I decided to leave. I had a feeling that I should have stayed but I didn’t listen to my gut as I should have. There have been many other times where I’d leave thinking nothing would happen only for the sky to start changing minutes later. Sunsets can really be so unpredictable sometimes.
On the drive home, I noticed the sky turning pink. And this wasn’t your standard soft sunset pink. This was a bright pink that was only getting more intense by the moment. We pulled over by a nearby park and I dashed out to photograph whatever I could. Sunsets like these don’t happen every day and I felt so humbled being alone surrounded by a giant expanse of vibrant sky. The energy felt electric and you could smell the incoming rain in the air.
The lighting here was tricky and it made me realize that I really need a new camera that handles low light situations better. I feel regret when I think about the photos that didn’t turn out but there was nothing I could do, both in the moment and in postproduction.
When I felt like I had all of the photos I wanted, the sunset was also starting to fade. Then, there was a sudden shift in the air and I could hear the rain start to make its way in. I grabbed my belongings and made a mad dash to the car before the rain could really get bad. Once I closed the car door, the skies opened up and it just started pouring. Good timing on my part!
What I love about sunsets like these is how they become the talk of the town for the next few days. I really enjoy going on Instagram to see all the other photos my fellow Torontonians have taken. While Toronto is definitely blessed with its fair share of gorgeous sunsets, ones like these don’t happen often and they get all us nature lovers excited!
The first sunset of summer! We were definitely blessed by Mother Nature on this evening. The clouds in the afternoon looked wispy and hazy and I had a strong hunch we would be getting an intense sunset. And let me say, I really love it when I’m right!
One of my favourite things is just seeing the sky transform and change during sunsets like these. The sky changes from yellow to orange to red to pink and purple. I’m always snapping away, taking a million photos and trying to balance that out with trying to enjoy the spectacle before me.
I can only hope we have a bunch more of sunsets like these ahead of us!
A few shots of the vibrant pink sky we had on the 2nd. These were taken in the backyard where I’m lucky to have a great view of the brilliant sky. This is one of those sunsets that Torontonians will be talking about for a while.