The Stones vs. The Beatles. Star Wars vs. Star Trek. Family Guy vs. Simpsons. X-box vs. PlayStation. Sunrise vs. Sunset.

Personally, I like both The Stones and The Beatles, I’ve never seen Star Trek, both the Simpsons and Family Guy make me giggle and I’m not a gamer. But when it comes to sunrise vs. sunset, I definitely prefer sunrise when it comes to photographing toys! And here’s why…


We live on the South East coast of Australia. The sun rises in the east. Most of our beaches face the south or the east. Sunsets over the ocean aren’t that easy to find.

"sunrise vs. sunset" : AS-AT Lego on the beach at dawn

@-ST @ dawn


Sunrise feels softer and somewhat ‘cleaner’ to me. It’s like the day hasn’t had a chance to dirty up the sky. Sunsets feel like a reflection of the day, both good and bad, to me, whereas a sunrise splashes across a clean canvas. It feels new. Plus, my mind tends to feels ‘fresher’ in the morning. The day hasn’t had a chance to muddy up my thoughts like it does to the sky as the day develops.

"sunrise vs. sunset" : LEGO Joker with bombs


Move on baby
Down in the ground
When I get up
No one around
2kindsa love
Now I’m hungry
Baby, ain’t it blue?
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – 2Kindsa Love


People are scarce before the sun cracks the horizon. High tides have smoothed the sand. Time hasn’t had the opportunity to tarnish these pristine settings with the day’s comings and goings. As the sun sets, the day dwellers are lingering, or the night crawlers are emerging. There’s less threat of accusing, questioning eyes at sunrise. The solitude allows for uninterrupted sessions, without the treat of background lurkers ruining shots.


For some reason, I have more luck with sunrises than sunsets. Maybe it’s because I force that luck. “If I’m going to drag myself out of bed in the dark and drive down to beach to lie in the wet sand, I’m going to make sure this photograph works, damn it!” Sunsets are hit or miss. More times than not, I get lucky with nature in the mornings. Sunrises, for some reason, tend to spoil me. However, even if a sunrise fails to deliver, that leads me onto the next pro in my list, timeliness.

"sunrise vs. sunset" : LEGO Gonk at sunrise



If things go balls up, there is still a full day to shoot. If a sunset photo fails to deliver, the last of the day’s light is gone, and so is the chance to salvage something.

I look through my window so bright
I see the stars come out tonight
I see the bright and hollow sky
Over the city’s ripped backsides
Iggy Pop – The Passenger

"sunrise vs. sunset" : LEGO K-2SO at sunset

droid void
*OK, sometimes sunset shots work out

Sure, sometimes, when my mind isn’t too scrambled from the day, I do take toys out during golden hour before sunset. And yes, sometimes things work out. But, these fleeting moments of success do not sway my preference when it comes to sunrise vs. sunset.

Luck, schmuck!

The only thing I can change about my preferences for sunrises, is my luck.

My socks and shoes always match
Is it luck?
There’s a foot at the end of each of my legs
Is it luck?
Primus – Is It Luck

Unlike Homer, I’ll won’t “stop doing anything”. I’ll keep setting my alarm to rise in the dark and drive to my favourite beach to capture toys at sunrise. I’ll also be venturing out as the day fades, with a cloudy mind, in search of that sunset photograph that seems to elude me, trying to change my luck!

– Brett

Do you have a preference to shooting sunrises or sunsets? If so, why do choose the one you do?

Whether you prefer sunrise, sunset or both, they make great backdrops for silhouettes of toys. This March we’re challenging ourselves, and you, to create silhouettes of toys. You can post them to G+, The G+ Toy Photographers Community or Instagram and use our tag #toy_photographers.

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