The sunset is one of the most used motifs in photography, and one of its most fantastic features is that it never ceases to inspire us.
A practical way to predict a promising sunset is to observe the clouds: high, irregular, and heavily spaced are ideal as each will capture some light and color, creating a visually pleasing scene. Often another indication of a suitable sunset will be a rainy day: if the rain clouds dissipate near that moment, we can get the perfect picture. https://skylum.com/blog/sunset-photography-the-ultimate-guide is not a difficult task but needs guidance and expertise.
- In every sunset photo, you need to react quickly: we have maybe 20 minutes to make something happen, and with every passing minute, photography can be dramatically different given the way light reflects on different objects and its changing intensity. The key is to prepare in advance since if we play with the tripod’s feet, we are likely to miss the best part.
- To produce truly effective and intense images, more than just the sunset is usually necessary. There must be foreground subjects in the framing, whether they are shapes, shadows, details or textures. Clouds and birds in flight can also be useful to add depth and interest, giving life to the scene.
- Continue to view the photos on the screen and with the histogram, increasing the exposure time in the next picture if necessary. If there are foreground details forming silhouettes in the background, increase the shutter speed. However, do not overdo it in the silhouettes as too many can overwhelm the image with its darkness.
- While the sun is still in the sky, use Aperture Priority (A-mode in the camera), Auto ISO if you are shooting with the camera in hand. At sunset, with the light changing so quickly, if you use manual mode (M mode), you will need to continuously adjust the camera settings to maintain a good exposure. This reduces the time available to evaluate light and framing for your image.
- If you want to include in the scene at twilight lights such as buildings or street lighting, be careful with the measurement: if the light is dim, the meter can be “fooled” and set a longer exposure time to brighten the large proportion of dark areas of the scene, causing the illuminated parts to be exposed and burned. Use exposure compensation to manage this situation. It will probably take about two steps of insufficient exposure if most of the scene is dark.
- In sunset photographs, you will immediately tell them that you are using excessive exposure and getting burned highlights. Look for cutouts in the highlights, indicated by a high concentration of cropped peaks on the right side of the histogram. If the sun is in the image, it is likely that some of the highlights will be cut off.
- If the camera is pointed directly at the sun disappearing, be careful with the reflections on the lens that blur the details. A different method will pass by omitting the sun itself, concentrating attention on the landscape illuminated by its less intense rays (also works on still images). For more options, while editing, try to capture as many of the scene types as you can while there’s still light.