6 Tips for Shooting Great Sunset Photos

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by gary_hendricks, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. gary_hendricks

    gary_hendricks TPF Noob!

    Dec 4, 2004
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    I love taking photos of sunsets. Try these six tricks to capture powerful photos imbued with the beauty and positive feelings of sunsets.

    1. Get a Full View:
    Position yourself on a beach or a highpoint to allow an unrestricted view of the sun for maximum impact. An alternative is to capture the sun falling between trees, next to an attractive monument or reflecting off the water. Make sure your photo isn't too busy with other objects that distract attention.

    2. Keep Shooting:
    More attempts will increase your chances of getting the right results. As the sun gets lower, it tends to get redder as well, so your results should improve in the final moments of a sunset.

    3. Look for Clouds:
    Sunsets on cloudy evenings are more colorful and interesting than sunsets on clear evenings. While you may not actually capture the sun itself in these photos, capturing an amazing variety of colors and rich cloudy textures will make up for it.

    4. Shoot Off-Center:
    Bring more life to your sunset photos by positioning the horizon away from the center of your photo. Instead, keep it near the bottom of the shot to dramatically highlight the sky. In combination with this, leaving some foreground in the shot, such as a person or a tree, will give greater interest and give you a great opportunity to work on silhouette photographs.

    5. Use Multiple Exposure Settings:
    Your camera's light meter will often under-expose sunsets because there is still quite a bit of light, so bracketing (taking several shots at different exposures) may be needed to find the perfect exposure. A little under-exposure can help to make the colors of a sunset richer. If you want to include the details of a person in the foreground, try using fill flash and night mode. This will bring out their details while still allowing enough exposure to get rich colors – remember to use a tripod in this case to avoid camera shake.

    6 Zoom In:
    It is effective to use a long focal length for sunsets, because the sun will appear much larger and more impressive in the sky. Either choose the longest optical zoom lens setting on your camera or use a longer telephoto lens on your SLR.

  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental We're supposed to post photos?

    Nov 8, 2004
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    Where am I now?
    Check out this thread:


    Otherwise I don't think there are really any 'rules'. The situation and what you are trying to achieve at the time dictate the best way of shooting.
    And everyone has slightly different tastes too ;-)
  3. Jamie R

    Jamie R TPF Noob!

    Oct 17, 2004
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    Thanks for the advice Gary.

    As much as people swoon over sunsets, I prefer the experience of being in a sunset than looking at garish magenta and tobacco skies.

    I'm trying to think of one single sunset image which I've seen which sticks in my mind.......all of them blur into a seamless melange of colour and none of them stand out.

    Thankfully there are others who love Velvia sunsets and calender work! For a real challenge - how about shooting sunsets in black and white imaging?
  4. mrsid99

    mrsid99 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2003
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    Just for something different I'm working on shooting a graveyard in full, garish color! :lol: :lol:

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