Sunset photographs have become a staple of photography in the online world with a practical deluge of photos of the sun going down filling every corner of social media. Despite their popularity, there are still lots of sunset photos out there that are blurry, overexposed or just plain bad. To save you from making any of the most common faux pas, I’ve created this little guide to help you get the most from your sunset photos.
One of the biggest elements of taking a good sunset photo is getting your timing absolutely perfect. Too early and you won’t see the full wealth of colours that make sunsets so attractive in the first place, too late and you’ll have missed the biggest spectacles and it’ll be getting dark. So, how exactly are you supposed to know when is the best time to take your sunset photo?
Well, there is a really simple way of knowing, and that is by using a sunset calculator app or website. These will give you the exact time of the sunset at your location on any date, including the angle, so you can plan your sunset photos well in advance.
Your camera will probably come with a “sunset mode” setting that you can enable, but while this might be slightly better suited than the default auto modes, it probably won’t be good enough to help you get the best shot possible. Unfortunately finding the right settings for your camera will be a case of trial and error, but at the very least you should look at adjusting your white balance and exposure times. I’d also recommend shooting in RAW, as this will let you make more changes and adjustments later when editing.
By far the biggest advantage that you can make for yourself when taking sunset shots is to prepare well in advance. This doesn’t mean just using a sunset calculator to know when to be there, but also to think about what element of the sunset you want to shoot and how you want to compose your shot. Setting your camera up on a tripod before the sunset is due, will help you to be prepared and get the absolute most out of the beautiful sights you are there for.