Few mundane natural events inspire us to stop what we’re doing and take a few moments to simply revel in their beauty as do sunrises and sunsets – even though they happen twice a day, every day, without fail. As the sun emerges or begins to disappear over the horizon, many of us try to capture the vivid colors and otherworldly light of these moments, but only a few of those photographs really stand out. Here are 15 of the most stunning sunsets and sunrises that have been posted to Flickr’s Creative Commons.
End of the Day by Paul Bica
Photographer Paul Bica captures a fiery sunset at the end of the Kalalau Trail on the beach in Hawaii.
Pacific Morning by Paul Bica
The sun peeks through wisps of gray-blue clouds in this beautiful image taken in Queensland, Australia by Paul Bica. But the photographer says that the scene is not quite as peaceful as it seems – “Beautiful beach but danger prowls as ‘floating logs’ (crocs).”
Windward Islands by Pilottage
“I was here to click the button but Mother Nature did it,” says photographer Pilottage of this colorful sunset on the Windward Islands, located in the West Indies.
Burning Sky by Per Ola Wiberg
Striking red tones dominate this sunset image taken in Stockholm, Sweden by Per Ola Wiberg.
Explosions in the Sky by Sergio Tudela
A long-exposure photograph by Sergio Tudela is awash in pastels, with the sun slowly rising behind a cliff and the moon still visible in the far distance (top left).
Leaving on a Jet Plane by Peasap
(image via: peasap)
The sun dips down into the ‘marine layer’, a foggy-looking air mass hovering just above the surface of the sea, in this photo by Peasap. Vapor trails of an aircraft leaving San Diego are visible in the orange sky.
Bohol Beach Club by Lost in the RP
The sky, sea and sand take on an otherworldly glow during this sunset at the Bohol Beach Club in the Philippines.
Destination: Paradise by Terence S. Jones
It’s easy to see why the photographer who took this photo, Terence S. Jones, called it ‘Destination: paradise [explored].’ The palm tree silhouettes against a purple, pink and orange sky are pretty much the definition of tropical paradise.
Eight (Explored) by Nikos Koutoulas
(image via: //www.flickr.com/photos/33284937@N04/6875321201/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-weight: bold; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); ">nick-k)
You could almost make yourself dizzy staring at this photograph, taken at Polifitos Lake in Kozani, Greece. It’s easy to imagine that the clouds, captured in their travels in a long exposure, are still moving.
Two Ships Passing in the Sunset by Rick Seidel
(image via: //www.flickr.com/photos/56194068@N04/6782070894/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-weight: bold; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); ">rseidel3)
Can you believe that this is a photo, and not a digital painting? It seems too perfect to be real. Photographer Rick Seidel managed to catch two ships just as they were at equal distance from the sun on the sea off Aruba.
Supernova by Luis Argerich
When the sky and sea are so black, the intense yellow-orange of the sun is all the more dramatic. This image was taken by Luis Argerich in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Morning Light by Felipe Gabaldón
The sun rises over a craggy black cliff in Spain in this photo by Felipe Gabaldon.
Red Sunset by Per Ola Wiberg
The reflection of the setting sun’s red light ripples on the surface of Sweden’s Lake Mälaren in this photo by Per Ola Wiberg.
A Cotton Candy Sunrise by Creative Lenz
(image via: //www.flickr.com/photos/73230975@N03/6671774647/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-weight: bold; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); ">peggy2012creativelenz)
Says the photographer of this bucolic image, “Variations in this morning’s sunrise over the shop, the lake, the slough and the wetlands on Bluebird Estates, Alberta, Canada.”