It’s a new month and therefore time for a new challenge. I feel honored having inspired Dennett to this writing prompt. It’s always a great way to receive feedback about your work.
As she’s been talking about my article that inspired her I have posted already a collection about sunsets I’ve taken on the African continent. I have loads of them. Sunset photographs captured in various African countries.
I’ve also shared a few of my sunset shots taken in Thailand before. But today I was going through my hard drive looking for sunset photographs I’ve taken in the past. Which were not captured in Africa.
Except for one. One picture sneaked in between the others.
I found my passion in photography in my teenage years. Long before I left school I had discovered the magic of capturing photographs of and in nature. Looking back at the photographs I’ve taken — half of them were taken in the mountains while skiing. And the other half on the beach while being on holiday.
And even before I discovered my love for the African continent I have traveled a lot already. Within Europe. And mostly on road trips. But I traveled. I stepped the first time on a plane when I was 17.
And since then you can’t get me off planes anymore.
I was born in winter and only several weeks old when I first saw snow. Despite growing up a two-hour drive away from the alps I still called the mountains my second home.
When I wasn’t skiing I was hiking in the mountains with my family. But somehow sunset shots were only taken when skiing. Or snowboarding. These days I only board.
Sometime in my teenage years, I turned away from family travel and started to explore Europe’s cities and beaches together with friends. One of those excursions brought me to Oslo, Norway.
We flew there to spent New Years' in the cold and snowy landscapes of the capital of Norway. Instead, we were capturing sunsets on the beach and having no sight of snow with temperatures above 15 degrees (Celsius).
The same year I went on a vacation with cousins, aunts and uncles, and my grandma. It was a different beach holiday from the previous ones. But it was a fun one.
We had rented an entire house on an island in Croatia. I had my inline skates with me and discovered this epic sunset spot on the other side of the island. The others followed on bicycles and we had loads of fun playing with the setting sun.
All shots were taken by myself. The last one with myself in it as well. That was a bit of a challenge. But I like the outcome.
My one and only time I’ve been to the states was not to explore a new continent but to surprise my aunt on her 60th birthday. She’s been living in the states for more than two decades now and expected everything else but a bunch of family members pitching up for her special day.
This wasn’t a trip I would have done by myself. I did it for the family and it was fun. But one day I will go back. With time. So that I can explore more than just one retirement town in Florida.
Yes, this is the one. The sneaky picture from an African sunset. One had to be in this collection as well.
This was me. In the air. At the beginning of my skydiving career. When we would jump loads until the sun would disappear on the horizon. And sometimes after sunset as well.
On a hiking trip in 2018, I explored a beautiful corner of the alps together with my dad and my partner. It was an epic trip despite all the struggles we had crossing glaciers and mountain ranges still covered in lots of snow.
On our first holiday to Thailand in 2018, we went to the beautiful mountain village of Pai and enjoyed this breathtaking sunset while sitting on top of a canyon.
In 2019 we went to visit Malaysia while living in Thailand for a year. On this trip, we drove to the mountain village of Fraser Hill where we did a long hike through one of the oldest rain forests in the world.
We had an absolute blast despite all the struggles with altitude and long hours on the trail. A country I will definitely go back to one day to explore more of its pristine nature.
2020 was the year I worked for the first time in years again in Germany. After years away from home, I decided to look for seasonal work back home to be closer to my parents for a while.
We went again on hiking trips in the alps together. Like those days before I became a wild teenager and decided hiking is uncool. I’m happy I found my way back to the mountains and the joy of hiking.
Sometimes things come back with age…
After years of photographing incredible African sunsets, I worked a few months at an airport in Germany where the people claimed to witness the most amazing sunsets in the world.
And I cannot deny the beauty of some of those evenings. Clouds still make a sunset. More spectacular. More colorful. And more powerful!
Last but not least this was a photograph taken during sunset. While it was pouring down rain at my tiny fairytale village. Looking at this photograph I can’t wait to go back there.
The countdown has started. Soon I’ll be flying home again. To my other home. One of the many homes I have.
This has been my selection of sunset photographs of a decade in a photographer's life. I hope you enjoyed flying across the globe following the setting sun. It was fun for me going back in time awakening memories from the places I’ve been to.
If you missed the initial post about the writing prompt here’s my invite to it too. “Sunsets” is the topic and you can use it in a direct or metaphorical way. Create an inspiring post and don’t forget to tag me in it.
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Anne Bonfert is a traveler. Photographer. Writer. Teacher. Skydiving instructor. Adventure enthusiast. Nature lover. And fell in love with the African continent.