When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.
A sunset is one of those things that happens every day whether you notice it or not. And when you do get a chance to see it, it never looks the same. Whether it’s the cloud cover, the landscape, or just the mood of the day; every sunset is different every day.
I’d like to say that I have a patient style of photography; that I go to a single location and wait out my time until the perfect opportunity arrives and capture the moment. But I don’t. I parse through a day’s photo like an eager child looking for one sweet after another. Occasionally, after an entire day of shooting, I’ll simply scrap an entire shoot. But sometimes, sometimes I get lucky. I’d been planning on just making a random stop, getting off the bus early in a place I’d never been before. It’s not often that I do this, and it’s not often that it pays off. The last time I’d done this, I didn’t get any photography done and I just wandered about in a small town for an hour. This time, though, it was jackpot.
For the past few weeks I already knew where it was that I was headed. Every Monday and Wednesday I take a one hour subway ride to Suwon where I hop on a 40 minute bus ride back to Ansan where my apartment is. In between the two cities, there isn’t much. A few dense apartment complexes separated by miles and miles of green field or empty pastures. But just before the bus enters Ansan, there’s a small village. The houses are separated by huge sprawling fields and greenhouses which sit in plain sight during the day, but at sunset they come alive. All of a sudden the greenhouses are back lit by the fading orange and clouded blue while the clear waters of the rice paddies reflect the sights above.
Somewhere in the drive between Suwon and Ansan, there’s a small village. The landscape is dotted with house and filled with rice paddies. A single stretch of road weaves its way from one house to the next with barely enough room for two cars to pass each other. Houses are separated by long stretches with abandoned tractors marking the distance in between.
When I finally stopped walking, it was like standing in a painting. The sky was lit up above and the water in the rice paddies was just a reflection of the spectacle. I stopped long enough to enjoy the view and just a little bit longer to take a few photos. I left just as the last bit of sunlight was fading out behind the horizon lone but not before the sky darkened above my head. I left that for the view from the bus on my way home.