Unmissable US Sunset Destinations this Winter

The post Unmissable US Sunset Destinations this Winter appeared first on TD (Travel Daily Media) Brand TD.

With the majority of Americans prioritizing sunsets when they travel, new research from NOAA meteorologist Stephen Corfidi has revealed that these times of day are even better during winter, with the colder air adding to the overall beauty of the golden hour.

Golden hour occurs when the sun is between an elevation of 6 and -4 degrees—typically an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset. More than just a time of day, golden hour is the perfect opportunity for travellers to photograph the destinations they visit.

At Viator, they pride themselves in helping travellers from around the world create lasting memories through unforgettable experiences. Utilizing more than 100 million Instagram hashtags, their travel experts found some of the most popular landmarks across the country and used Photoshop to reimagine what these attractions would look like during golden hour.

How America’s most popular destinations look during golden hour:

Miami Beach: December sunrises in Miami are around 7:15 am, and December sunsets tend to be around 5:30 pm.

Viator discovered that Miami Beach has been tagged more than 16 million times (16,333,621) on Instagram, making it one of the most popular places to photograph in the United States. When visiting Miami Beach during golden hour, travelers can expect the art deco architecture to become more vibrant and the palm trees to cast interesting shadows across the scene.

When reimagining Miami Beach during golden hour, the travel experts at Viator utilized the Kelvin scale to adjust temperatures and hues in Photoshop—namely to depict the shift from daylight with clear skies (5000–6500k) to sunrise/sunset (3000–4000k).

Central Park, New York: December sunrises in New York City are around 7:15 am, and December sunsets tend to be around 4:30 pm. Nestled amidst the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan, Central Park has racked up more than 8.5 million hashtags on Instagram (8,642,890), making it a popular location for travel photography.

At both sunrise and sunset, the Manhattan skyline casts deep, long shadows across the lawn during golden hour, making it a great spot for a bike ride or impromptu photoshoot.

The Bow Bridge is a romantic meeting-up point in Central Park and the perfect spot for a wedding proposal or a first date kiss. This location is even dreamier during golden hour, due to the sun’s rays casting a glow over the bridge.

When reimagining Central Park during golden hour, the travel experts at Viator utilized the Kelvin scale—where golden light tends to be around 3500k—to adjust the levels in Photoshop. We also tried to match the coloring to what you’d typically see in the evening, when the sun is between 6º and -4º above the horizon. This lines up with the beginning of the civil twilight, which is when people can expect to see purple and blue clouds floating over Central Park.

The Grand Canyon: December sunrises in Las Vegas are around 6:40 am, and December sunsets tend to be around 4:40 pm.

The Grand Canyon130 miles from the heart of Las Vegas, has almost 5 million Instagram hashtags (4,905,154) and is one of the most cherished travel locations in the entire US.

The Grand Canyon’s colors become even more vibrant at both sunrise and sunset. Sunset typically brings more dramatic colors and shadows that add complexity to the canyon’s landscape.

Sunrise, however, draws out much fewer crowds—a major bonus if you want completely unobstructed photos of the canyon.

Venice Beach, Los Angeles: December sunrises in Venice Beach are around 7:10 am, and December sunsets tend to be around 6:40 pm.

Venice Beach has more than 4.5 million hashtags on Instagram (4,566,186).

This coastal LA neighborhood is a photographer’s dream during golden hour, especially if you can capture shots of the warm colors reflecting on the ocean. It’s also the perfect place to use a technique known as backlighting, achieved when the light source (aka the sun) is behind the subject of your photo—something that happens every day at sunset on the West Coast.

How to take perfect golden hour photos with a smartphone

We travel experts at Viator have provided tips on how to capture the ultimate golden hour photo on your smartphone.

Timing is key: Make sure to be ready about 30 minutes before sunrise or 30 minutes before sunset, when the sun is low on the horizon. This will ensure you don’t miss a single second of the soft, warm, and diffused light of the golden hour.
Play with directional light: Pay attention to how the light falls on the subject. While side lighting can emphasize texture and create long, dramatic shadows, backlighting can produce beautiful silhouettes. Experiment to see what works best.
Experiment with angles: Try shooting from different angles. The sun’s colors during golden hour can change quickly, so be ready to adjust your position as the light evolves.
Use “Burst” mode: Whencapturing a unique fast-moving activity such as birds flying, use “Burst” mode by pressing and holding the shutter button. This will give a series of shots to choose from.
Tap to focus, and hold the phone steady: Not many know this simple hack when taking photos: Simply tap on the smartphone’s screen to set the focus point for the shot. This helps ensure that the main subject is sharp and well-focused—just make sure to hold the phone as steady as possible.



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