Nothing garners more “likes” on social media than a breathtaking sunset photo. Throw in a Nantucket landscape or water scene to boot, and you’re sure to incite some serious envy in your friends back on the mainland. But with all the photos flying around Instagram and Facebook, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. To get the best island locations and some tricks of the trade, we turned to N Magazine’s very own Chief Photographer, Kit Noble. Here, we bring you his top Nantucket sunset (and sunrise) spots and tips on how to make your photo stand out in the crowd.
T I P S
1. Look for something interesting to include in the foreground. A boat, a house, a crashing wave… whatever it is, it will make your photo much more interesting than the typical sun setting on the horizon photo.
2. Take the foreground tip one step further and expose the photo for the sun so that your foreground object is a silhouette. This will catch your viewer’s attention and give your photo an added element of interest.
3. Use a wide lens when the sky is lit in pretty pinks and oranges because this will give you the ability to capture more sky around the sun you’re focusing on. Or, pick up a long lens and you’ll be able to get that close-up, larger-than-life sun ball.
4. Always look behind you. No, not in a scary paranoid way, but because the light could be reflecting beautifully off the windows of houses or boats creating a striking visual. At sunset especially, you’re likely to find soft, pastel pinks and blues in the sky 180-degrees from the sun itself.
5. Some of the best skies happen in the 30-minute time frame post-sunset, so be sure to stick around and see what special gifts nature will throw your way. Along the same lines, arrive 30 minutes prior to sunrise and you’ll likely catch some great light.
6. Invest in a good sun-positioning app for your phone. This will allow you to stay on top of when and where the sun will be rising or setting!
7. Storms and clouds make for great sunset skies, so don’t be turned off just because it’s a bit cloudy and don’t be deterred by a little bad weather. Sometimes those mornings/nights produce the most interesting visuals.
8. Be prepared. From a sweatshirt to bug spray, you don’t want to find yourself uncomfortable and unwilling to stick it out.
S U N S E T S P O T S
One of Nantucket’s top beaches doubles as a top spot for catching a stunning sunset. What makes this location so special are the houses lining the beach and the likelihood that you’ll catch a surfer in action. These subjects give you the opportunity to capture reflections or interesting silhouettes.
What’s better than watching a beautiful sunset? Watching a beautiful sunset with a glass of champagne in your hand. Enough said.
Nantucket’s west end offers photographers a plethora of sunset options, and is Kit’s top pick for where to go if you’re only on island for a weekend because you’re almost guaranteed a beautiful sunset.
For the lazy man’s approach, head to the upstairs bar at Millie’s, grab a taco and stay poised and ready to catch that sun out the bar window.
For an iconic sunset shot, head to the Ames Avenue bridge and capture the house on stilts as the sun begins to dive.
Warren’s Landing is a go-to for the ideal shot across Madaket Harbor. And with all the moored boats bobbing in the water, you will no doubt find that perfect nautical scene you’ve been looking for.
Climb atop the grassy dunes at Miacomet Beach and get a different perspective for your photo. Or, turn away from the ocean and direct your gaze to the pond where you can practice shooting reflections in the still water. You’re sure to get lost in the moment wondering where the sky ends and pond begins…
S U N R I S E S P O T S
Drive down Milestone Road and head to the Middle Moors for an inland, non-nautical experience. This is an especially eye-catching spot if there is an early morning fog, made only that much more beautiful by the Serengeti-esque trees dotting the landscape.
Brant Point is a double-whammy: a great spot for both sunrises and sunsets. If you’re looking for a quieter and less cluttered landscape, aim for the morning (where you have the added bonus of fishermen who make for great subject matter!)
Looking for an island adventure? Altar Rock provides a stunning 360-degree view of the island, including a shot of Sankaty Head Light in the distance. And on mornings with low-lying fog, your photos will have an eerie quality not typically associated with Nantucket.
There’s nothing quite like the early morning light bouncing off the mega yachts in Nantucket’s boat basin. Another option from this vantage point is to shoot back at the shops on Old South Wharf or cottages on Old North Wharf, where the soft light is sure to produce a serene snapshot.
For prints and inquiries, you can contact Kit Noble through his website.