of sunsets and kittens

Taylor's Island

There is a joke among photographers that the general public’s taste in images can be summed up in two words: sunsets & kittens. The appeal of the colourful and cute seems to be constant and worldwide.

I took this photo last week at a park on the west side of Saint John. It was mid-afternoon, although the sun was already sinking rapidly. The tide was high and for once there was only a light breeze blowing off the Bay of Fundy. We walked out to a path along the edge of the cove, drawn by the loud booming of the waves crashing against the bouldery beach and echoing against the rocky cliffs. I shot this image into the light, which meant losing most of the foreground detail to the strong contrast. The low sun, partially screened by clouds on the horizon, cast an almost metallic light across the scene. I decided to enhance these golden tones, and yesterday I posted it on Flickr.

And today, I’ve discovered that the image has become a sunset — it has already been added to one gallery of sunset photos — and it has attained a level of popularity well over that of my favourite photos.

I think I’ll go look for some kittens.

Photo taken on January 6, 2011


9 thoughts on “of sunsets and kittens

  1. Love the treatment of that photo! It’s spectacular.

    Cats and little flowers — that’s what I like to shoot! Sunsets too when available. It’s like instant gratification.

    When can a person say that he or she is a photographer? I’ve often wondered about that. Am I a photographer? I have a camera, obviously, but…

    • Thanks, Rebekah! You’re right about the “instant gratification” part — of course, everyone likes kittens and sunsets, what’s not to love!

      If you take photos for your own enjoyment (as compared to, for example, making images for insurance records), I’d say you’re a photographer!

      • If you take photos for your own enjoyment (as compared to, for example, making images for insurance records), I’d say you’re a photographer!

        That’s a very good point…

  2. It’s a beautiful shot, and I can see why it’s become so popular. I guess I’m a public, since I like shots of sunsets and kittens — and lichen and snow and weeds and scat. Hmmmm, anything natural, not too fond of building pictures.

    • Even though I enjoy the challenge of photographing buildings, Louise, I still enjoy taking photos of nature more than anything else. A beautiful view, a sunset, a mountain landscape — these are easy to love. I enjoy the challenge of trying to show the innate beauty of what is easily overlooked, like the subtle moods of the forest, and yes, even weeds and scat. Perhaps that’s the same interest that draws me to the urban landscape…

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