Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

6 Tips for Taking Great Sunset Photos

Last response: in Digital Camera
Share
Anonymous
January 9, 2005 11:00:26 AM

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

Hi everyone

Just thought I might share my experience on taking sunset pictures with
this group. Hope it's useful - try these six tricks to capture powerful
photos imbued with the beauty and positive feelings of sunsets.

1. Always 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. Just 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. Be on the lookout 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. Try to 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.
Gary Hendricks
http://www.basic-digital-photography.com
Anonymous
January 9, 2005 1:05:20 PM

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

In article <1105286426.010215.178260@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
<gary_hendricks@digital-music-guide.com> wrote:

> Just thought I might share my experience on taking sunset pictures with
> this group. Hope it's useful - try these six tricks to capture powerful
> photos imbued with the beauty and positive feelings of sunsets.

Jeez...let me print this out so I can take it with me next time.
Anonymous
January 10, 2005 3:56:02 AM

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

Gary, Thanks for sharing. Very interesting perspective.

I.
Related resources
January 10, 2005 4:59:09 PM

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

gary_hendricks@digital-music-guide.com wrote:
> Hi everyone
>
> Just thought I might share my experience on taking sunset pictures with
> this group. Hope it's useful - try these six tricks to capture powerful
> photos imbued with the beauty and positive feelings of sunsets.
>
<snip>
>
> 5. Try to 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.
>
<snip>

With a digicam, you can quickly find the right exposure. Use the manual exposure settings. Take a photo with whatever
setting you think is right, look at the result on the LCD screen, adjust the setting. Once you get it, you can up the
exposure time or the lens opening as the sunset goes along.

You don't have to get the exposure exactly right. You can make adjustments with image editing software. I've found that
darkening a somewhat over-exposed photo of a sunset can sometimes bring out cloud colors that you didn't see by eye.

Never point the camera at a sun that is too bright to look at with your eye. You could ruin the sensor.
Anonymous
January 11, 2005 12:20:03 AM

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

Marvin wrote:

> Never point the camera at a sun that is too bright to look at with your
> eye. You could ruin the sensor.

That would mean the sun has to be completely out of frame right, as in already
below the horizon?

--
--
Ben Thomas - Software Engineer - Melbourne, Australia

My Digital World:
Kodak DX6490, Canon i9950, Pioneer A05;
Hitachi 37" HD plasma display, DGTEC 2000A,
Denon 2800, H/K AVR4500, Whatmough Encore;
Sony Ericsson K700i, Palm Tungsten T.

Disclaimer:
Opinions, conclusions, and other information in this message that do not
relate to the official business of my employer shall be understood as neither
given nor endorsed by it.
Anonymous
January 11, 2005 8:01:53 AM

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

Ben Thomas wrote:
> Marvin wrote:
>
>> Never point the camera at a sun that is too bright to look at with
>> your eye. You could ruin the sensor.
>
>
> That would mean the sun has to be completely out of frame right, as in
> already below the horizon?
>

Or out of the frame to the right or the left or up or down.
Or behind a cloud, a bird, a kite, a tree, or some
landscape feature, etc. I could keep going but you get the
picture. (That was a pun!). With any camera, digital or
film, pointing the camera at a bright sun has the potential
for damage. Besides, it is usually the clouds or a
partially blocked sun that your are interested in for a
sunset photo.
Anonymous
January 11, 2005 8:01:54 AM

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

George E. Cawthon wrote:
> Ben Thomas wrote:
>
>> Marvin wrote:
>>
>>> Never point the camera at a sun that is too bright to look at with
>>> your eye. You could ruin the sensor.
>>
>>
>>
>> That would mean the sun has to be completely out of frame right, as in
>> already below the horizon?
>>
>
> Or out of the frame to the right or the left or up or down. Or behind
> a cloud, a bird, a kite, a tree, or some landscape feature, etc. I
> could keep going but you get the picture. (That was a pun!). With any
> camera, digital or film, pointing the camera at a bright sun has the
> potential for damage. Besides, it is usually the clouds or a partially
> blocked sun that your are interested in for a sunset photo.

Like this?

http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.sunset/web/haw...

http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.sunset/web/haw...

http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.sunset/web/c10...

These violated at least one of the 6 tips.

Roger
Anonymous
January 11, 2005 1:59:20 PM

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

"George E. Cawthon" <GeorgeC-Boise@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:55JEd.15199$c13.15081@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
> Ben Thomas wrote:
>> Marvin wrote:
>>
>>> Never point the camera at a sun that is too bright to look at with your
>>> eye. You could ruin the sensor.
>>
>>
>> That would mean the sun has to be completely out of frame right, as in
>> already below the horizon?
>>
>
> Or out of the frame to the right or the left or up or down. Or behind a
> cloud, a bird, a kite, a tree, or some landscape feature, etc. I could
> keep going but you get the picture. (That was a pun!). With any camera,
> digital or film, pointing the camera at a bright sun has the potential for
> damage. Besides, it is usually the clouds or a partially blocked sun that
> your are interested in for a sunset photo.

OK - so what about those "big orange ball" sunset photos where the sun seems
to be meltinginto the sea (or whatever the horizon is) ??

If the sun is the main object, then how do you deal with that ? Neutral
density filter ? Severe underexposure ?
Anonymous
January 11, 2005 1:59:21 PM

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

adm wrote:

> "George E. Cawthon" <GeorgeC-Boise@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
> news:55JEd.15199$c13.15081@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
>
>>Ben Thomas wrote:
>>
>>>Marvin wrote:
>>>>Never point the camera at a sun that is too bright to look at with your
>>>>eye. You could ruin the sensor.
>>>That would mean the sun has to be completely out of frame right, as in
>>>already below the horizon?
>>
>>Or out of the frame to the right or the left or up or down. Or behind a
>>cloud, a bird, a kite, a tree, or some landscape feature, etc. I could
>>keep going but you get the picture. (That was a pun!). With any camera,
>>digital or film, pointing the camera at a bright sun has the potential for
>>damage. Besides, it is usually the clouds or a partially blocked sun that
>>your are interested in for a sunset photo.
>
>
> OK - so what about those "big orange ball" sunset photos where the sun seems
> to be meltinginto the sea (or whatever the horizon is) ??
>
> If the sun is the main object, then how do you deal with that ? Neutral
> density filter ? Severe underexposure ?
>
>
(This is a repost as giganews seems to have dropped all my
posts from last evening.)

Like this?

http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.sunset/web/haw...

http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.sunset/web/haw...

http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.sunset/web/c10...

These violated at least one of the 6 tips.

Roger
Anonymous
January 11, 2005 11:34:15 PM

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

On Tue, 11 Jan 2005 12:29:32 -0800, "Jürgen Eidt"
<JurgenE@hotmail.com> wrote:

>"Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <username@qwest.net> schrieb
>> Like this?
>>
>> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.sunset/web/haw...
>>
>> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.sunset/web/haw...
>>
>> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.sunset/web/c10...
>
>Holy cow! These are great ones!

Agreed.

Spoiled only due to the lack of naked young women.

...but I can say that about a lot of photos.

--
Owamanga!
Anonymous
January 12, 2005 2:25:20 AM

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

In message <55JEd.15199$c13.15081@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>,
"George E. Cawthon" <GeorgeC-Boise@worldnet.att.net> wrote:

>Ben Thomas wrote:
>> Marvin wrote:
>>
>>> Never point the camera at a sun that is too bright to look at with
>>> your eye. You could ruin the sensor.
>>
>>
>> That would mean the sun has to be completely out of frame right, as in
>> already below the horizon?
>>
>
>Or out of the frame to the right or the left or up or down.
> Or behind a cloud, a bird, a kite, a tree, or some
>landscape feature, etc. I could keep going but you get the
>picture. (That was a pun!). With any camera, digital or
>film, pointing the camera at a bright sun has the potential
>for damage. Besides, it is usually the clouds or a
>partially blocked sun that your are interested in for a
>sunset photo.

Any time that "the sun" is creating so much color that you want to shoot
it, it is already weak from diffusion. the sun will only hurt your eyes
or the sensor if it is high in a clear sky, and most people don't even
think to photograph that.

With an SLR or DSLR, the sun only passes through glass until the moment
of exposure, which may be too short to damage the film or sensor.
--

<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
John P Sheehy <JPS@no.komm>
><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
Anonymous
January 12, 2005 6:03:54 AM

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

adm wrote:
> "George E. Cawthon" <GeorgeC-Boise@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
> news:55JEd.15199$c13.15081@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
>
>>Ben Thomas wrote:
>>
>>>Marvin wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>Never point the camera at a sun that is too bright to look at with your
>>>>eye. You could ruin the sensor.
>>>
>>>
>>>That would mean the sun has to be completely out of frame right, as in
>>>already below the horizon?
>>>
>>
>>Or out of the frame to the right or the left or up or down. Or behind a
>>cloud, a bird, a kite, a tree, or some landscape feature, etc. I could
>>keep going but you get the picture. (That was a pun!). With any camera,
>>digital or film, pointing the camera at a bright sun has the potential for
>>damage. Besides, it is usually the clouds or a partially blocked sun that
>>your are interested in for a sunset photo.
>
>
> OK - so what about those "big orange ball" sunset photos where the sun seems
> to be meltinginto the sea (or whatever the horizon is) ??
>
> If the sun is the main object, then how do you deal with that ? Neutral
> density filter ? Severe underexposure ?
>
>

You did see where I said partially blocked, that could mean
part of the ball or decreased intensity.

Ask Clarke (see his beautiful pictures). Not really
underexposure, (since the sun is likely to be overexposed
but the the foreground is likely underexposure. My Nikon
seems to capture pretty much what I wasn't if just left on
automatic, but I also use the Sunset setting.

My point about protecting the camera was, you may be able to
point it even at a bright sun, but don't do it for very
long. If you are waiting for the sun and clouds to be in a
specific spot and your camera is on a tripod, you should
probably have something in front of the lens until just
before you shoot.
Anonymous
January 12, 2005 6:11:22 AM

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

Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
> George E. Cawthon wrote:
>
>> Ben Thomas wrote:
>>
>>> Marvin wrote:
>>>
>>>> Never point the camera at a sun that is too bright to look at with
>>>> your eye. You could ruin the sensor.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> That would mean the sun has to be completely out of frame right, as
>>> in already below the horizon?
>>>
>>
>> Or out of the frame to the right or the left or up or down. Or
>> behind a cloud, a bird, a kite, a tree, or some landscape feature,
>> etc. I could keep going but you get the picture. (That was a pun!).
>> With any camera, digital or film, pointing the camera at a bright sun
>> has the potential for damage. Besides, it is usually the clouds or a
>> partially blocked sun that your are interested in for a sunset photo.
>
>
> Like this?
>
> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.sunset/web/haw...
>
>
> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.sunset/web/haw...
>
>
> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.sunset/web/c10...
>
>
> These violated at least one of the 6 tips.
>
> Roger
>
Yep, those are great shots. I don't think too much of #1 is
pretty much open to interpretation and not really
restrictive the way it was written, and #6 zooming, may be
effective but it gets tiresome. For years while everybody
seemed to be chasing colors, I did nothing but B&W,
preferring the gradients of grays to the garish display of
colors that many seemed to like.
Anonymous
January 13, 2005 11:08:35 AM

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

<gary_hendricks@digital-music-guide.com> wrote in message
news:1105286426.010215.178260@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
<---Edited--->
> Hi everyone
>
> Just thought I might share my experience on taking sunset pictures with
> this group. Hope it's useful - try these six tricks to capture powerful
> photos imbued with the beauty and positive feelings of sunsets.
>
> 1. Always get a full view
> 2. Just keep shooting
> 3. Be on the lookout for clouds
> 4. Shoot off-center
> 5. Try to use multiple exposure settings
> 6. Zoom In
http://www.basic-digital-photography.com
>

Here's another tip to add to the list:

7) Wait at least until the sun is "past the yardarm" before setting up your
tripod for sunset shots.

If you set up to shoot sunsets at 6:00 a.m., for example, you'll have a
long, boring wait and you'll likely have to pack a lunch.

Hope this helps.
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 7:46:29 PM

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

On 1/13/05 10:08 AM, in article Br-dnTdGutp0AXvcRVn-qw@comcast.com, "Paul
H." <xxpaulhtck@zzcomcast.yycom> wrote:

>
> <gary_hendricks@digital-music-guide.com> wrote in message
> news:1105286426.010215.178260@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> <---Edited--->
>> Hi everyone
>>
>> Just thought I might share my experience on taking sunset pictures with
>> this group. Hope it's useful - try these six tricks to capture powerful
>> photos imbued with the beauty and positive feelings of sunsets.
>>
>> 1. Always get a full view
>> 2. Just keep shooting
>> 3. Be on the lookout for clouds
>> 4. Shoot off-center
>> 5. Try to use multiple exposure settings
>> 6. Zoom In
> http://www.basic-digital-photography.com
>>
>
> Here's another tip to add to the list:
>
> 7) Wait at least until the sun is "past the yardarm" before setting up your
> tripod for sunset shots.
>
> If you set up to shoot sunsets at 6:00 a.m., for example, you'll have a
> long, boring wait and you'll likely have to pack a lunch.
>
> Hope this helps.
>
>

How 'bout this:
Keep the horizon - horizontal!


_______________________________________________________________________________
Posted Via Uncensored-News.Com - Accounts Starting At $6.95 - http://www.uncensored-news.com
<><><><><><><> The Worlds Uncensored News Source <><><><><><><><>
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 12:20:03 AM

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

George Kerby wrote:

>
> How 'bout this:
> Keep the horizon - horizontal!
>

Radical!

--
--
Ben Thomas - Software Engineer - Melbourne, Australia

My Digital World:
Kodak DX6490, Canon i9950, Pioneer A05;
Hitachi 37" HD plasma display, DGTEC 2000A,
Denon 2800, H/K AVR4500, Whatmough Encore;
Sony Ericsson K700i, Palm Tungsten T.

Disclaimer:
Opinions, conclusions, and other information in this message that do not
relate to the official business of my employer shall be understood as neither
given nor endorsed by it.
Anonymous
January 18, 2005 9:47:41 PM

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

anyone4tennis@hotmail.com wrote:

> gary_hendricks@digital-music-guide.com wrote:
>> Hi everyone
>>
>> Just thought I might share my experience on taking sunset pictures with
>> this group. Hope it's useful - try these six tricks to capture powerful
>> photos imbued with the beauty and positive feelings of sunsets.
>>
> <snip>
>>
>> 5. Try to 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.
>>
> <snip>
>
> With a digicam, you can quickly find the right exposure. Use the manual
> exposure settings. Take a photo with whatever
> setting you think is right, look at the result on the LCD screen, adjust the
> setting. Once you get it, you can up the
> exposure time or the lens opening as the sunset goes along.
>
> You don't have to get the exposure exactly right. You can make adjustments
> with image editing software. I've found that
> darkening a somewhat over-exposed photo of a sunset can sometimes bring out
> cloud colors that you didn't see by eye.
>
> Never point the camera at a sun that is too bright to look at with your eye.
> You could ruin the sensor.

Dunno about that. I've shot directly at the sun (-2 stops) and the sun
didn't record as a ball but with the corona too. This can be very striking
with clouds in shadow and highlighted. If you're afraid of the sensor
getting fried, hang a small piece of rag over the lens and remove it for the
5 seconds required to set the 2 second self-timer and shoot. I'm always
shooting sunsets with a lightweight Velbon (800g) and a 2 second selftimer
to eliminate the tripod shudder when clicking the release.
!