Joburg, the city of gold, is constantly pumping with a unique vibrancy and energy. But on the 7th of October, the setting of the sun over South Africa’s economic capital, will create a spectacle that is worth standing still and taking notice. It’s Joburghenge, when the sunset aligns perfectly with Joburg’s street grid, throwing a warm, dreamlike glow over the brick and steel behemoths that line the city’s sidewalks.
Following in the footsteps of Manhattenhenge in New York, the phenomenon was named Joburghenge as a nod to Stonehenge, the prehistoric circle of rocks that aligns with the rising sun at the summer solstice.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the sun rises due east and sets due west only twice a year. Besides those occasions, the sun rises and sets elsewhere on the horizon.
HOW TO TAKE THE PERFECT SHOT
Joburghenge is the perfect opportunity for an iconic Instagram. But there are things to keep in mind given Joburg’s skyscrapers. “The reason a sunset looks good on a beach is because there are no buildings,” says Annie Tritt, who has shot for publications like The New York Times. Buildings might be too dark to discern against the brilliant light. If you’re using an iPhone, there’s an easy way to fix this: “You can move the exposure level up and down on your screen,” Tritt says. “That will help you find the sweet spot.”
Kelbaugh suggests editing a Joburghenge photo with VSCO, an app many photographers use, or Instagram’s own tools. “The vignette function is nice to draw your eye to the center of the frame,” he says. “Play with the shadows and highlights functions, contrast and even the warmth.” While you’re snapping, don’t forget to savor the moment. Enjoy the way things line up in a more orderly fashion than usual. It brings an immediate sense of appreciation and warmth. It adds a certain glow and sparkle to wherever you are.