Royalty free - Sunset Images

Photographing the sunset.

Before you go out to photograph the sun,
a word of warning;
‘Watch Your Eyes’. Don’t look directly at the sun, no matter what, it can cause irreversible damage to your eyes.

Firstly, the sun & sky is what this subject is all about; this is why you should try not to over expose them. Secondly, the sunset by itself it not that interesting, this is why your picture should be enriched with other elements, such as clouds and other elements. (read on)

Focus. If we leave the camera on automatic focus, the sensor will have difficulties locking onto the sun and sky. This is why you should set the camera on manual focus and set the focus distance to infinity. If you don't do so you may end up with a blurred picture

Set your ISO to its lowest setting on digital cameras. A lower ISO setting (i.e.100) will produce an image that is less light-sensitive but with a higher pixel quality. This means a cleaner and noise free image. Experiment with the exposure compensation on your camera as well, until you get the best picture.

Getting a good picture involves a small amount of preparation. The worst sunset pictures are those where the horizon splits the picture across the middle and there is nothing else to attract your eye. Very boring!


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How to Photograph the sunset. (See left)

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Photographing the sunset: continued.

To avoid this ensure you have at least a tree, building, or person silhouetted in the shot too or some other foreground detail. Look for interesting silhouettes.

Use reflections off bodies of water. Get down as low to the water as you can, or do the opposite and go to the highest angle to get an entirely different reflection in the water. Again experiment!

Wait for the sun to be in the perfect spot, and then take a sequence of picture. Exactly what is the perfect moment is a matter for your artistic judgment.

Shoot the images in both jpg and RAW. Then you can open the RAW image in an editor like Adobe Photoshop and change the white balance to see which gives you the best results. Personally I've found cloudy or shade white balance settings gives a warmer yellow tone to the sunset.

Finally, take a tripod. If you stick around until after the sun goes down you will have more vibrant colours in the sky, but your exposure will drop quickly.

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