When you have taken as many sunrise and sunset pictures as I have, you can find your self getting a little snobby about the sky. Clear skies mean boring sunrise and sunset pictures to me. However, there is another strategy. Turn your camera away from the sun. Look for the sunlight to illuminate your scene.
In image 1 above, there is a lot of red color in the trees as the morning sunlight fights through the atmosphere. I got this picture above looking off a ridge and the countryside below. The trees have this unique reddish hue. The sunlight illuminates the snow in the valley and there are some great shadows from the hills that make for a great winter landscape photo.
Ok, let us talk about sunset. About a month ago, my wife and I took a road trip to visit the Antiques & Salvage store in a little town called Cuba City, Wisconsin. It’s worth the drive to browse the 21,000 square feet of architectural salvage and various antiques. We took the fastest way there from Madison, WI. However, I insisted we take that backroads home driving along the southern border of the State. The picture labeled Image 2 was taken about 20 minutes before sundown. We were almost to Argyle, Wisconsin when I saw this shot out of the corner of my eye. I had to turn around and drive back to catch it. I love the golden sunlight and the long shadows cast by the silos. The two farms almost seem like they are looking at each other. In the end, no clouds, no problem, just take what the sun gives you!