SUNSET PHOTOS – ROMANTIC AND INSPIRING!
Sunset photos are the most emotional of all nature photography. They can convey such strong feelings of wonder and inspiration! They are symbolic, encapsulating the pure power of nature.
The great thing is sunsets are readily available for you to capture. The opportunities to take awesome twilight photographs and sunset photos happen every single day; you don’t have to travel anywhere, and this kind of photography provides numerous ways to alter your composition, from silhouettes, dramatic shadows, surreal close-ups.
If you are really creative and into digital photography, you can make some absolutely stunning creations by manipulating your results in the computer, or by applying the creative use of White Balance.
But shooting really amazing sunsets requires a little bit of effort, planning and preparation to make sure you have it exactly perfect!
The light changes fast at this time of day, and is often challenging to capture. But by using a few simple techniques, you’ll be taking spectacular photographs in no time! (Check out the Sunset Photo Gallery coming soon,for examples and photos.)
After many attempts to capture that fleeting sunset, you know the kind – truly amazing almost unnatural colors, a few clouds to add some texture, and more drama than an Oscar winning movie – I decided I’d better come up with a more consistent technique to avoid being disappointed, not to mention wasting so much money on film!
BEST TECHNIQUES FOR TAKING SUNSET PHOTOS
Here’s my best process for taking original and creative evening twilight and dusk photos:
- The most basic technique of all is to get set up at your location early.
- I try to have lots of digital cards, (or film ) on hand, make sure I have extra batteries.
- I remind myself to not forget my tripod!
- I bracket my exposures to make sure I have all the possibilities covered. Usually I do +/- 2 EV.
- I use an assortment of lenses to capture unusual perspectives.
- I meter on manual, taking my reading from the sun, and recomposing so the sun is not the center of the image.
- I experiment with Custom While Balance (Nikon D300, D3, and D700, D800)
- Remember to turn around – turn your back to the sun and see what’s happening on the “other side!”
“The twilight’s last gleaming…the ultimate sunset photos”
The most important secret, I think, though, is to keep taking sunset photographs, for an hour or so AFTER the sun has vanished beneath the horizon. This special time of rapidly changing colors can be the magic hour of all sunset photography!
You never know what kind of photo event the clouds, the haze, the sun and the other elements on the landscape will create as those last faint rays evaporate into the darkness. Give it a try – I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Special techniques on the following pages will help to make sure you seize every possible second and transform your sunset session into a series of sunset photos that leaves your viewers speechless! This shot was made about 24 minutes after the sun had slipped behind the horizon.