Tips for Shooting Sunsets

Are you an aspiring landscape photographer and want to capture the perfect sunset? Or maybe you booked a tropical vacation with your family and bought your first dSLR in hopes to come back with an epic sunset shot to share with your friends? I would love to say it’s as easy as setting your camera to Auto and pointing at the sky but that would be a lie! To give you a little assistance, here are a few tips on how to shooting sunsets!

Most landscape photographers don’t shoot with anything less than 200mm. That doesn’t mean it’s a rule written in stone but when choosing which lens you want to use, think about what kind of shot do you want? If you want a shot with a sweeping view, choose something wider like a 24mm. Pay attention to where you’ve set up your shot. If there’s a road or a crowd or even a pole anywhere in the frame, a wide lens sometimes will not go tight enough to bypass those little things. A longer lens such as 200mm and up will make your subject feel grander!

Advances in camera technology has been great. Companies are making it easier for consumers to take a good shot with Auto settings but that doesn’t mean that’s right for every shot! If you want to learn how to shoot the sunset, get familiar with your cameras Manual setting. (You can learn more about your camera settings over on The Inspired Club!)  This is going to allow you to have control over your exposure and dial it in just right. Any of the auto settings will meter for the closest thing in the frame. Sometimes it will work, but other times it will be way off from what you had in mind! Another fun tip; underexpose your image just a little bit. When you do this the color of the sky will be more vibrant!

Just as you’re using the camera’s Manual setting, your lens should also be set to manual focus. Depending on your subject and if that subject is backlit or not, the lens can have a hard time pulling focus. Using your lens in manual mode will give you the control to place the focus rather than fight the camera to find a focus point! I know what you’re probably thinking about now. What happens if you’re hand holding your camera with manual focus and the shutter speed is too long? You would get camera shake anyway, right?! If you head to a previous post I wrote about shooting the sunrise, those tips easily carry over to learning how to shoot the sunset!

Lastly, really think about what image you want to capture. Create a beautiful silhouette or place something in the foreground to captivate your viewer. Just because you want to capture the sunset doesn’t mean you need to have the sun in the photo. Turn in every direction and see how the sun is lighting up the sky and structures around you. I bet those shades of blues and reds and yellows are casting a gorgeous glow on everything around you! If you’re a member on The Inspired Club, share your best sunset shot! Or tag #TIC on Instagram to share with the community!


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Jana Williams

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