Sunset at Mallory Square Photography Tips

Key West is well known for its sunsets. The sun sets in the West so you can see the sun setting into the water from the Mallory Square area in the downtown area of Old Town. Another great place to view the sunset is out at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.

Every evening in Mallory Square there is a celebration to watch the sunset. You will find food and craft vendors, entertainers, and a lot of people out in the square enjoying the sunset.

I have taken many sunset pictures all along the Mallory Square area. The options maybe limited when a cruise ship is tied up at the dock. One area I enjoy is in front of the Westin Hotel and along the boardwalk from the Westin Hotel to Mallory Square. This is a cruise ship tie up slip, so if you see a cruise ship tied up, you will have to walk down to Mallory Square.

Arrive 30 minutes before the sunset time to get ready. I have found if there is a haze or cloud cover out in the ocean along the horizon, the sunset will be limited and you may not be able to see the sun set below the horizon. The sun will disappear before it hits the horizon. When the weather is clear the sunset will put on a show for you.

After the sun sets below the horizon, wait and do not walk away. Stay and wait for the twilight and see the colors in the sky that may appear in the sky. The digital camera will surprise you on what colors your pictures will produce. You may be able to take pictures up to 20 minutes or longer after sunset until it gets dark.

The following photos were taken in area in front of the Westin Hotel. In April.

Sunset at Mallory Square Photography Tips

April Sunset – 6 minutes until sunset.  7:01 pm. April. Great night to take pictures. Clear view of the horizon. No haze or low clouds. Tip: the view from Mallory Square area will give you many tour boats out on the water conducting their sunset sails.


Sunset at Mallory Square Photography Tips

Birdnest – 2 minutes until sunset. ( 7:05 pm) I call this shot the Bird Nest. Looks like an egg in the nest. You can see the change in the color of the sky from the first photo. This night I am not using a tripod, only hand held.


Sunset at Mallory Square Photography Tips

Island Time – 1 minute until sunset  (7:06 pm.) The Island Time is a shuttle boat taking its passengers to the Sunset Key Island, just across from Mallory Square. I liked the name of the boat, “Island Time” and made the boat the subject of the photo.


Sunset at Mallory Square Photography Tips

Sunset!  (7:07 pm) The sun is showing the top of its head. This evening no sunset color show.


Sunset at Mallory Square Photography Tips

Sunset sail charter returning home – 18 minutes after sunset  (7:25 pm) The twilight is lighting up the sky with more color than the actual sunset. At this time of the evening you can get some good silhouettes of the boats out in the water.

One thing I have learned is the Key West sunset will not be the same each and everyday . The sunset will be affected by the weather, clouds, haze and time of the year. But one thing is certain, you will enjoy it. So if you are visiting, plan on viewing the sunset each day you are in town to get a selection of different pictures that could happen.

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