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6 Tips for Shooting Great Sunset Photos

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Anonymous
December 20, 2004 11:29:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

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.
Best Regards,
Gary Hendricks
www.basic-digital-photography.com
December 21, 2004 1:11:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

This is great Gary - thanks for sharing it with everyone. For me the
absolutely most important thing is to take the camera off AWB and put it on
daylight balanced. This is one reason why I like to shoot film and scan it.
120 gives bigger scans, cheaper than 35mm (buying slide film for me anyway),
and no automatic cyan (ala AWB =)

YMMV,
Ed
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 12:34:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

<gary_hendricks@digital-music-guide.com> wrote in message
news:1103560192.920687.73920@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> Try these six tricks to capture powerful photos imbued with the beauty
> and positive feelings of sunsets.

Thanks for the tips, we have had some nice sunsets here lately, so I shall
be going out to try this.

AJM
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Anonymous
December 22, 2004 2:02:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

gary_hendricks@digital-music-guide.com wrote:

> 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.
> Best Regards,
> Gary Hendricks
> www.basic-digital-photography.com
>

Gary,
Good advice. But I disagree with part of point #5 in my experience.
I find that sunset photos usually get overexposed. With digital,
overexposure is the kiss of death for the image. It is better to
underexpose. For example, this recent sunset shot in Hawaii:

http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.NEW/web/hawaii...

was done with a 300mm lens with -1.3 stops. The sun itself is
still overexposed, but nothing else is. The ocean was dark on
the original image, but a little curves work brought it into
view. So, especially with digital, ensure critical parts of the
scene are not overexposed and then bring up the shadows with
curves/other tools. Check the histogram with each image to
be sure you get it right so you can correct for the next frame
if necessary.

Roger
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 5:42:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

> 2. Keep Shooting: ...sun gets lower, it tends to get redder as well, so
> your results should improve in the final moments of a sunset.
Best colour IMO is after the sun is down, maybe 15 mins after for the
deepest reds...

> 5. Use Multiple Exposure Settings: Your camera's light meter will often...
Just as the sun hits the horizon, I would meter a bright patch beside the
sun then drop exposure around a stop for best colour. Once the sun is down,
then as metered will usually give the best colour for me.

> If you want to include the details of a person in the foreground, try
> using fill flash
Also may be worth considering use of a graduated ND filter if your subject
will be below the horizon...

> 6 Zoom In: It is effective to use a long focal length for sunsets,
Yes and no. Good for sun and sparse images, but shoot wide to get clouds,
curvature and a wider range of colours/tones.

http://gadgetaus.com/photos/displayimage.php?pos=-279
http://gadgetaus.com/photos/displayimage.php?pos=-270
http://gadgetaus.com/photos/displayimage.php?pos=-246

Good conversation starter! Anyone else want to share some sunset pics?

Cheers, Jason
Folio: www.gadgetaus.com/photos
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 5:47:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

> absolutely most important thing is to take the camera off AWB and put it
> on daylight balanced.

Good point, also setting a custom WB to say 7000K or balancing on a
blue-cyan card or patch of sky will force an additional yellow-red cast to
the image. 'White' balancing on a known colour card can be just as useful
as using colour filters, and you don't get the corresponding light
absorption of a filter, or the difficulty of focussing a strongly coloured
image.

For safety though, shoot raw and you can decide later anyway.

Cheers, Jason
Folio: www.gadgetaus.com/photos
!