Golden Hour Photography: Five Sunset Pictures From My Portfolio

I believe that the love of sunsets is something that most human beings share. The emotions one feels when watching a sunset may vary; happiness, relief, melancholy, sadness… Emotions that differ from each other but are all united by a particular beauty. It is rare that people do not stop to observe the beauty of a sunset. As I have already mentioned in this article that is a kind of homage to the art of photography, I started taking pictures as a child and the camera has always been my faithful companion, whether it was a simple disposable Kodak, a standard digital camera, a Reflex camera or a smartphone with an advanced camera (and it should be pointed out that I was also taking pictures with early models of flip phones of about 2 megapixels). However, sunsets began to be a consistent subject of my photographs only when I received my first SLR as a gift (just a couple of years after the first iPhone model came out), and over the years I have photographed hundreds of sunsets. The richest period of sunset shots dates back to the outbreak of the pandemic; at the time I was living in Bordighera, a town on the Ligurian Riviera that offers breathtaking sunsets, especially in the winter time. I had a balcony overlooking the sea so it was a prime location to observe sunsets and capture them on camera.

For this article I have decided to create a top five of my favorite sunsets photographed over the years; each sunset comes from a different location and I have assigned poetry excerpts to each picture because I believe that every sunset has something poetic about it. Also, I just realized that all the photos I have chosen were taken in Italy; this is probably due to the fact that many places in my country are famous for golden hour beauty.

More sunset pictures taken in Italy and other countries can be found on Flickr in my Sunrise & Sunset Photography album, which also includes one of my most viewed sunset photos on Flickr; it was taken in Calabria (Southern Italy) and served as inspiration for my first WordPress blog post.

1) Lignano Sabbiadoro and the Countryside (North-East Italy):

Lignano Sabbiadoro: The Beauty of Clouds

Beautiful Evening – Mary E. Nealey

I love the beautiful evening
When the sunset clouds are gold;
When the barn-fowls seek a shelter,
And the young lambs seek their fold:
When the four-o’clocks are open,
And the swallows homeward come;
When the horses cease their labors,
And the cows come home.

2) Milano Navigli (Northern Italy):

Navigli Sunset - "Milano da Bere".
Navigli “Milano Da Bere”

In Gold Lacquer by Bliss Carman

The air is flecked with filtered gold, —
The shimmer of romance
Whose ageless glamour still must hold
The world as in a trance,
Pouring o’er every time and place
Light of an amber sea,
The spell of all the gladsome things
That have been or shall be.

3) Bergamo Città Alta (Northern Italy):

Città Alta.
Bergamo Città Alta

The close of day by Esther Crone

At eve the mountains seem to devour each dying day,
As they stand between the earth and heaven’s way.
They feast on sunbeams, drink the rain and dew for wine,
Their Host is God, the Infinite with whom they dine.
And he who sweeps his eye across the broad expanse of skies
May see the finger prints of God in wonderous size;
Yea, too, may see that God himself is there
To hold and guide the worlds that swing in air.
No language need be heard to tell his mighty power,
“The heavens declare his glory” in this closing hour.

4) Massif de l’Esterel (taken from Bordighera, North-West Italy):

Coucher de Soleil - Massif de l'Estérel.
“Coucher de soleil sur l’Esterel” from Bordighera, Italy

The Sunset Woven Of Soft Lights by Katharine Lee Bates

The sunset, woven of soft lights
And tender colors, lingers late,
As looking back on all day’s dreary plights,
—The foolish day of hopes so high,
Who counts her hours by blunders now,
Yet wears at last this jewel-crown of sky
Upon her brow.
Out to eternity she goes,
Not for her failure scorned, but see!
Our poor day flushed with beauty, one more rose
On God’s rose-tree.

5) Piazza Garibaldi, Gianicolo, Rome (Central Italy):

Piazza Garibaldi, Gianicolo - Rome.
Belvedere del Gianicolo

Twilight by Annette Wynne

The first glad breath of day is dear;
The sky is very soft and near;
The noon is glorious with light;
And afternoon is bright;
But I love twilight best, it seems,
When all the air is drenched with dreams,
And up against the sunset bar,
One small dream changes to a star

Additional notes:

The poems I have transcribed can be found in their entirety on websites such as or, where you will also find many other sunset-themed poems.

All pictures are my own.


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