A Dozen Spectacular St Helena Sunset Photographs

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A Dozen Spectacular St Helena Sunset Photographs


There’s something completely irresistible about photographing the St Helena sunset. Almost anywhere along the north-western side of the island is a perfect front row seat to see the sun retreating down to the vast South Atlantic Ocean.

It never gets old. And, just like everyone else, we are always tempted into getting out the camera.

That half an hour of rapidly changing colours is mesmerising. Like mother nature is playing around with giant dimmer switches just to see what ridiculous combinations she can come up with.

Why is the sky blue?

And why are sunsets orange?

Apparently it’s to do with something called the ‘scattering’ effect. Different colours of light waves travel from the sun, across space, to earth. These light waves are of different wavelengths depending on their colour.

We’re talking minuscule measurements, less than a millionth of a metre, for these light waves.

Once light enters the earth’s atmosphere it collides with molecules and small particles causing scattering. Shorter wavelengths (blue and violet) scatter more easily. Longer wavelengths (red, orange and yellow) are less affected and continue on.

When the sun is at a low angle – sunrise and sunset – the light has to travel through more of the atmosphere and scattering is increased on blue and violet wavelengths. This explains the increased red and orange glow at sunset.

Photographing the St Helena Sunset

In certain big cities around the world, the air pollution is so bad that residents are unlikely to see a beautiful sunset clearly. Just a glowing haze, sadly.

Here on St Helena, no such problems. Our pollution-free skies mean a fantastic St Helena sunset is threatened only by cloud cover, which unfortunately is more likely this time of year. The southern hemisphere winter is just beginning.

But, even as Sharon and I are digging out the fleece jackets and swapping shorts for longs, we still keep a lookout for a clear end to the day. A breath-taking sunset can happen in any month of the year.

Here is a selection of 12 different ways that we’ve photographed the St Helena sunset.


The St Helena sunset over High Knoll Fort, taken from our house in Alarm Forest.

The St Helena sunset view from our house in Alarm Forest. We have dozens of pictures to choose from of spectacular sunsets from this spot, as you can imagine. The distinctive landscape profile of High Knoll Fort (to the left) and James Valley down to the bottom right. Month of May.


Football at sunset on Longwood Green, St Helena.

A beautiful June evening on St Helena at Longwood Green. The late light has youngsters out enjoying a game of football until it is almost dark. Good times for sure.


A different view of a St Helena sunset from halfway up Jamestown.

The steep valley sides make it difficult to see the setting sun directly from most places inside Jamestown. But the fading light in the sky still makes an interesting purple coloured backdrop as the day is about to be overtaken by night.  Photography: Month of April.


The ‘Wideawake’ on the Jamestown anchorage.

St Helena sunset on the harbour. The ‘Wideawake’ boat doing its final rounds of the anchorage after a long day working ship.  Photography: Month of March.


Longwood Gate, St Helena sunset.

Longwood Gate and a lone aloe tree silhouette as the sun dips below the horizon. Photography: Month of June.


The distinctive gumwood tree silhouette at the Millennium Forest on St Helena.

Another instantly recognisable St Helena sunset silhouette. There are more than 10,000 gumwood trees planted within the 18-year-old Millennium Forest which is located just off the airport road below Bottomwoods, Longwood.   Photography: Month of September.


Final St Helena sunset the RMS St Helena.

A special St Helena sunset for the final night the RMS St Helena lay at anchor in James Bay, 9 February 2018.  Couldn’t have asked for a better last night memory.


Flaky cloud sunset over the old guns, Ladder Hill, St Helena.

Plenty of cloud in the sky but broken enough to give us an amazing St Helena sunset from the old guns at Ladder Hill.   Photography: Month of August.


Yachts visiting St Helena Island.

Plenty of ‘scattering’ going on here. Visiting yachts on the moorings off Jamestown harbour, St Helena. Photography: Month of April.


The French Tricolore in the grounds of Longwood House as the sun goes down.

Front porch of Longwood House catches a St Helena sunset as the French Tricolore flutters in the breeze. Napoleon himself might well have been taking in a similar view, 200 years ago. Photography: Month of June.


Half Tree Hollow community centre on St Helena at dusk.

The district of Half Tree Hollow is probably the best place to live on St Helena for sunset views. This is the Half Tree Hollow community centre at dusk.  Photography: Month of February.


Camping at Thompson’s Wood, St Helena.

No better way to connect with a St Helena sunset than taking a tent and going camping. Luckily a clear and dry night was ahead of us in Thompson’s Wood when we took this. Photography: Month of December


By |2018-06-19T07:29:36+00:00June 19th, 2018|Awesome Nature, St Helena, Top 10 and more|14 Comments


  1. Chris Daniel June 26, 2018 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Lovely pictures Darrin & Sharon. I always thought it was clouds that make a great sunset photo, but you’ve found other ways to do it too. (How did you get the football, the goalie and the sun in just the right place!)

    • WTSDN June 27, 2018 at 11:17 am - Reply

      Hey Chris, thanks for the comment.
      Haha, yes all in the right place, no Photoshop either!
      I shall reveal – basically the guys were all taking pot shots at the goal, the light was awesome and we were just passing by so went over to take the picture.
      Up close, lying on the grass with the wide-angle lens, pre-focused and switched to manual focus. Shooting in rapid burst mode. Then it was a case of getting the timing right.
      This picture is the best of 25 taken from that spot.
      It was actually quite straight-forward. The most challenging thing was making sure to not let the ball hit the camera, which needed an intervention twice!
      Cheers 🙂

  2. Brian Isaac June 22, 2018 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    At times we take so much for granted until the beauty is revealed.

    • WTSDN June 23, 2018 at 11:59 am - Reply

      Absolutely Brian, couldn’t agree more.
      Thanks for the comment 🙂

  3. nIKI nICHOLLS June 19, 2018 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Stunning pictures Darrin & Sharon. We get some beautiful sunsets here in Cornwall, but nothing like back home.

    • WTSDN June 19, 2018 at 4:49 pm - Reply

      What I do love about UK sunsets is the reliability of the light for two or three months over the summer. Home is good though as it can turn like this any month of the year.
      Thanks for the comment Niki, great to hear from you.
      Love to all the family. Cheers 🙂

  4. Rick and Sally Stucker June 19, 2018 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Hi guys! We loved all of the photos. Sunsets are always a favorite. The shot of the RMS stood out for sentimental reasons of course. The following photo with the broken clouds is probably my (Rick’s) pick, with the incredible color palette.


    • WTSDN June 19, 2018 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      Hey Colorado, always good to hear from you guys.
      Yeah, the RMS picture brings a lump to the throat, it was a surreal moment that evening, we’ll both never forget it.
      Thanks for the comment,
      cheers 🙂

  5. Georgina Benjamin June 19, 2018 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Lovely skies at Night Photo and OUSTANDING CLOud formation photos. Well done.

    • WTSDN June 19, 2018 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      Thanks Georgina, good to hear from you again, glad you like the pictures.
      Cheers 🙂

  6. P G Henry June 19, 2018 at 8:23 am - Reply

    Sun sets and sun rise is one of my favourite views that is amazingly beautiful, I always wonder why the different colours.
    Awesome pictures.

    • WTSDN June 19, 2018 at 9:00 am - Reply

      Thanks Borbs.
      Yes, it’s interesting knowing how the day changes colour like that.
      Cheers 🙂

  7. Lawson henry June 19, 2018 at 6:22 am - Reply

    Awesome thanks for sharing

    • WTSDN June 19, 2018 at 8:59 am - Reply

      You’re welcome Lawson, thanks for the comment 🙂

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