Most people assume that a summer sunset is going to be the most beautiful setting for a portrait. This may be true in cooler climates, but here in South Carolina, this is not the case. Most days in the summertime here, the temperatures can reach upwards of 85º F. This extreme heat, combined with the generally humid conditions of the entire southeastern United States, creates a layer of haze in the atmosphere. Since the sunset is merely a refracted image of the sun, the haze makes the colors muddy and reduces the contrast, thereby making the image flat and less intriguing. The best days for both sunrises and sunsets here are late fall and early spring. Besides that, the timing of sunrises and sunsets in the summer is more extreme, so you have to get up earlier, or keep the kids out later.