Everyone loves beautiful sunsets, but they can often be challenging to take. Here are some tips for taking beautiful sunsets that will look great and really stand out.
Sunset Photography Rule #1: Protect your Eyes and Camera
It is dangerous to your eyes and to your camera’s image sensor to point your camera directly at a bright yellow sun. Using a long lens or optical zoom will magnify the damaging effects. Better to play it safe and get the better picture by waiting for the sun to sink below the horizon or wait until it’s dark red.
Sunset Photography Rule #2: Capture the Color
Ever run out the door to photograph a brilliant sunset but then after uploading to your computer wonder what happened to those saturated, bright hues? Usually the culprit is the camera’s automatic white balance. While human eyes can see the brilliant sunset yellows, oranges, magentas and blues, the camera’s automatic white balance tries to dull them down and make them look more “normal.”.” The solutions are simple…
– If you have manual settings, turn off the auto white balance, and then set the white balance to the warm side.
– If you’re shooting with an SLR or DSLR or your camera has a color lens setting, try taking some pictures with the red filter attached or selected.
– Are you using a compact that doesn’t have manual settings? Really simple solution here: set it to sunset mode. This works for sunrises too. Sunset mode automatically sets the white balance to keep the warm shift in its color balance. Sunset mode also helps the camera to automatically use the best focus and exposure (no flash) for this type of picture.
– None of the above? Use Landscape mode or automatic, and then use a photo editor to adjust the white balance to reflect the brilliant colors you know were there.
You may also want to play around with different exposure settings or use your photo software to lighten or darken your image. Be sure to make changes on copies, not the original!
Often a slower shutter speed will better capture the sunset; in this case, a tripod may be needed to steady your camera.
Sunset Photography Rule #3: Capture the Best Compositions
– Use basic landscape photography techniques and patience to create stunning sunset pictures.
– Not all sunsets are created equal…well actually many are, but to get a remarkable sunset photo, you need a remarkable sunset. Clouds almost always provide for more spectacular sunsets. You can usually find these over large bodies of water.
– Let yourself watch the sunset and wait for the really great shots.
– Take your sunset photos from vantage points that give you a composition free of clutter, such as power lines and buildings (unless the building is serving as a focal point for your photo).
– Add scale and context by composing your pictures with something in the foreground like a lone pine tree, a boat or a person…The sunset will almost always create the silhouettes, thus adding more drama to your sunset photography.
– If the sky is the most dramatic part of the sunset, compose your picture so that two thirds of it is filled with sky. If the reflection on water and silhouettes is the most captivating part of the pictures give this two thirds of your image’s real estate.
– Go to the beach and you’ll find some of the best sunset photo opportunities around. Here you can see the sun setting over the horizon, and your pictures will also get the benefits of the colorful reflections off the water. Other good places include the desert and prairie where you also often can see the horizon and where the additional dust in the air adds to the color.
With these tips, you now have everything you need to succeed at taking sunset photos and produce images you’ll be proud to frame on your wall.
Autumn Lockwood is a writer for YourPictureFrames.com and loves hiking and photography. Your Picture Frames offers a big selection of picture frames with free design assistance to help you find the perfect frame quickly and easily. We offer frames in wide variety of sizes and shapes like our square frames. Visit our website or call us at 1-800-780-0699.