There’s a saying among photographers that goes something like, all sunrises and sunsets are beautiful, but they’re not all photogenic. Sometimes the conditions just aren’t right or maybe you just happen to not be at the right place at the right time. I definitely experienced that while we were on Easter Island. Holly and I got up for sunrise almost every morning we were there, and went to watch the sunset almost every evening, and as it turned out, God saved the best for last.

Our last evening on the island it looked like a storm was rolling in, and if memory serves me, I think it even rained a bit while we ate dinner. There is a spot right on the edge of town called Tahai, which is the best place to photograph the sunset on Easter Island. On any given evening there may be as many as a hundred people gathered on the hill side, watching the sunset behind the Moai there. On this particular evening though, it was Holly and I, a group of about 5 20-somethings, and one other guy, all of whom were there perhaps just out of duty. It was fairly obvious there wasn’t going to be a show from the sunset that evening. Then, out of no where, there was a little seam of pink in the sky. That seem grew and grew, until finally the sky just exploded into color behind all the storm clouds. It was a truly special moment.

The next morning, the day of our flight home, Holly and I went out to Tongariki well before first light. If Tahai is the place to photograph the sunset on Easter Island, then Tongariki is the place to photograph sunrise. The nice thing about Tongariki is that it is a bigger area, so while there may be the same number of people there, it doesn’t feel like it because everyone can spread out. Unlike the night before though, the conditions this particular morning were shaping up perfectly, and the sunrise played out the way we all hoped it would (by the way, the pictures are positioned with sunrise on top, and sunset on the bottom). It was a fantastic way to end our trip to Easter Island!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series on Easter Island as much as I have sharing it. If you missed any of the previous ones, you can find them here: Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. Next week POTW returns stateside for some of our adventures here in the good ole US of A!

–Dan Thompson

Easter Island

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