Sunset Photography Tips

There are not many things more amazing than seeing a gorgeous sunset. The beautiful array of colors across the sky as the sun sets into the horizon. But actually capturing the sunset as it is happening is hard as there is only a small window of time so it is necessary to plan perfectly and be prepared. We wanted to share these sunset photography tips with you today so you can be sure to capture the most stunning sunset that you possible can! 

Photo credit: Rick Lundh via 121clicks

Photo credit: Rick Lundh via 121clicks

1. Think ahead.

Even though you can be spontaneous and capture a great sunset, that is often times just not the case. The best sunset photos come with some planning. It is a good idea to scope out some places that would be the best picturesque spot to capture your sunset photo. Perhaps it is in a location that you are able to track the sun all the way down but also think about the scenery around it as well. 

You also want to plan ahead with what time you need to arrive to get your equipment all set up and ready to go. Find out what time the sun is going to set and get there at least half an hour before that time so you are ready to go when the sun's decent begins. 

It is also important to keep watch of the weather. You don not simply need a clear day as those are not always the best sunset shots. With the sunset around clouds, you can see some amazing colors and patterns that may wow you! 

And last but not least, make sure you plan ahead for all the equipment that you need to bring with you. Have extra batteries, a tripod, various lenses, and anything else you feel may be needed during your shoot. 

2. Shoot at a variety of focal lengths and exposures. 

You can get a wonderful landscape shot with a gorgeous sunset with a wide angle but if you want the sun to be the main focus of the shot, you will want to be able to zoom in if needed. Bring a few different lenses with you so you can test out different focal lengths to see what you prefer the best. 

You will also want to switch your camera into aperture or shutter priority mode instead of relying on the camera's auto mode. If you let your camera decide what shutter length to shoot at, you are likely to capture a photo that does not really show the true beauty of the light. It will quite often be underexposed because the sky is still reasonably light. 

3. Use a tripod.

If you are shooting at longer shutter speeds and with longer focal lengths, you want to make sure your camera is COMPLETELY still so using a tripod is very important. 

Photo credit: ytravelblog.com

Photo credit: ytravelblog.com

4. Find a good foreground subject. 

The sky may be beautiful but try to identify an object that stands out well above the horizon. Maybe it is a large tree, a building, a lighthouse or even something simple like power-lines that can create and add more to the photo. Another object with a great shape that will create a good silhouette in the light. Keep in mind that this object does not have to fill up your photo, maybe it is just in a small corner of the photo, but it helps give your photo a focal point so the viewer has something more to look at than just a beautiful sky. 

5. Be aware of what is around you. 

The sunset does not only create amazing colors in the sky right in front of you, but all around you which is so great for other types of photography. As the sun sets, keep your eyes open for other shots that you could possibly capture. There may be an amazing landscape shot, a great place to take a portrait or even a beautiful flower that you see. 

6. Don't stop until the sun is set. 

The sky and colors will change all throughout the sunset, so make sure you take photos all the way through. Do not stop until it is dark out and you know the sun is down for the night. 


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