When the sun sets, it evokes many wonderful and sometimes bittersweet emotions that can only be perfectly described when captured into still photos. It stirs up feel-good memories and passionate feelings for most people while for some, it may remind them of heartbreak or a love that was easily lost. Nevertheless, sunsets are fascinating photo subjects that can give your portfolio credence if you do it the right way.
When taking shots at dusk, remember these helpful tips:
- Protect your eyes. Zooming in on the bright multi-coloured sun can do extensive damage not only to your eyes but also to your camera’s image sensor. So be patient and wait for it to turn dark reddish before you take ample shots of the sunset. To make sure, the sun must be well below the horizon so you can use your long lens liberally and capture all its glory.
- Determine the right settings. For example, turn off the auto white balance if your camera has a manual setting because it only washes away the complex colours that a sunset brings. For SLR cameras, use the red filter to secure all those brilliant and saturated hues. Choose landscape mode if your camera does not possess any of these settings. Make sure you have a top-of-the-line photo editing software to give justice to the sunset you have taken.
- Make duplicates. Original shots must have multiple copies which you can use for editing. This way, you won’t have to touch the original.
- Use a slow shutter speed. To achieve this, use a tripod. It steadies your hand and prevents the images from being blurry or hazy.
- Wait for the opportune moment. Scout the area early on so you can take plenty of shots from different angles. Even simple objects such as clouds, swaying trees over the mountains, or sea waves can add considerable impact to the beauty and wonders of the sunset. It makes you evaluate the sunset from different perspectives because there is more depth and meaning to it, thanks to the other aspects in its surroundings.
- Choose the right location. You don’t want any distractions such as passers-by, power lines, trucks, or buildings.
- Pay attention to details. Do not be afraid to include the trees or even the skyscraper if you must. Though this is in contrast with number 6, if done properly, it can add scale and context to the sunset images.
- Use the rule of thirds especially if you are a beginner. This makes for impressive sunset images. If you think the water silhouettes are the most striking details, they should make up two thirds of the photo. Dramatic skies should be captured in two thirds of the image if you can find the perfect angle.
- When at the beach, use all the other features in the surroundings as backdrops. Flying seagulls, crashing waves, and even lovers holding hands from afar can all add flair and intensity to the sunset images.
- For other locations, study the surroundings beforehand so you can use any of its elements to your advantage during your sunset photo shoot. If you are on the desert, a long wooden pathway, or a lush plain, you can find many interesting factors here that would make for a unique sunset image.
Most importantly, immerse yourself with the beauty and glory of the sunset. Having the right attitude and right focus can help you create spectacular sunset pictures.