Cape Cod Life, Annual 2017 |

Sunset Is My Favorite Time

Cape Cod Life  /  2017 Annual / ,

Writer: Brian Shortsleeve / Photographer: Brian Shortsleeve 

favored destination artists

Buzzards Bay from Cataumet, Photo by Brian

“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I to go the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.” -Rainer Maria Rilke, poet

It’s no surprise the Cape and Islands have become a favored destination for artists. Our ocean-laden atmosphere diffuses the sunlight to naturally enhance the colors in our favorite scenes. Whether we are an accomplished painter or a would-be photographer like me, we are most fortunate to live on the Cape and Islands, one of the most strikingly beautiful locations on Earth.

In this issue, Cape Cod LIFE’s 2017 Annual Guide, we encourage you to explore our entire region. In hopes that you may be traveling with camera in hand, I want to share some of my favorite areas for photographing sunsets.

Let’s starts where I did, when I was about 10 years old . . . Craigville Beach in Centerville. The beach faces south on Nantucket Sound, and looking west, the shore curves southwest to East Bay in Osterville and then disappears in the western sky.

A very popular spot and well worth the trip is Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown. From here you can see all of Cape Cod Bay. If you arrive in time for a spectacular sunset, you won’t ever want to leave.

Continuing around the Cape Cod Bay shoreline, there are so many memorable locations: From the high ground on Great Island in Wellfleet, to low tide at Rock Harbor in Orleans; from Linnell Landing in Brewster to Corporation Beach in Dennis, at low tide the sand flats are mesmerizing. From the dunes of Sandy Neck in Barnstable to the Sandwich Boardwalk at Mill Creek, one can witness the evidence of the power of the sea.

In Bourne, the canal speaks for itself. Facing west my favorite shots show the Sagamore Bridge in the foreground with the sun setting beyond the bridge. Between the canal and Woods Hole in Falmouth, of the many gorgeous locations, my favorite is The Knob at Quissett Harbor. I have a personal fondness for sunsets over Buzzards Bay.

At the southern end of Buzzards Bay sits Cuttyhunk, the southwestern most of the Elizabeth Islands. A lookout platform awaits you there atop the highest hill on Cuttyhunk. I have taken more than a few shots from here, looking across Buzzards Bay to the sun setting over Rhode Island!

On Martha’s Vineyard, most photographers know about the view adjacent to the Gay Head Lighthouse in Aquinnah. All of Vineyard Sound lies before you with the Elizabeth Islands in the distance. On Nantucket at Madaket Harbor, the Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Little Neck looks west to Tuckernuck and Muskeget Islands, with the Muskeget channel running in the distance.

If you go, have fun and good luck, and if you get some great photos, please consider entering them in Cape Cod LIFE’s Annual Photo Contest.

My Best,

Brian Shortsleeve,


P.S. In the past I have secretly submitted my own pictures to the photo contest under a false name, but I never won anything. This Cape Cod Life Team is a tough crew!

Brian Shortsleeve

Brian Shortsleeve is the owner, publisher, and founder of Cape Cod Life Publications. His personal column, “Gunkholing,” has appeared in all issues of Cape Cod LIFE since the very first issue in 1979.