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7 Tips for Photographing Sunsets

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Sunset by G. Bradley

The wonderful thing about photographing a sunset is that you don't need to travel far.  You may even be able to do it from a window in your home.  Sunsets can be a challenging subject to photograph: they're always moving, always changing, but they can produce some breathtaking images.  Here are a few tips for capturing their drama...




1) If you plan to photograph a sunset or sunrise have your camera set up ready to go at least half an hour in advance.

2) Avoid looking directly at the sun or through your camera viewfinder as this may damage your eyes.

3) Try to incorporate some features in the foreground to give your sky photo scale and interest.

4) Put your camera on shutter priority and shoot at different shutter speeds to obtain a variety of effects.  Start with a fast speed and work down to slower ones.


Sunset by Anne Roberts

5) If your camera has an "auto bracket" capability use that.  Just one stop up or down on aperture size can make a big difference to your photo.

6) Whenever possible use a tripod.

7) Keep the horizon level and position it one third from the bottom of the viewfinder, or two thirds from the bottom if you want more foreground detail.


Sunset by Ashley Howard

The light patterns across the sky will be constantly changing, so keep watching (and clicking).  You can get some amazing images even after the sun has passed below the horizon.

Some of the drama of skyscapes can be lost on a bright computer screen, so you might want to have your favourite shots printed.


See also: 10 Tips for Photographing Butterflies



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