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How To Shoot Sunsets

6 Tips To Help You Take Great Sunset Photos


At some point, youíve seen a fabulous sunset, we all have. Youíve probably tried to take a picture of that sunset only to find that your shots pale in comparison to what you saw. While taking great pictures takes study and practice, there are a few things you can do to help improve your chances of capturing that beauty.  Here are 5 tips to help you take great photos of sunsets. 

1) Plan ahead

Sure, itís entirely possible to get a great sunset picture on the spur of the moment. If youíre driving somewhere and see a great place to shoot the perfect sunset, go ahead and stop. But if you really want to take wonderful pictures, donít count on fate to bring them to you. Scout locations ahead of time, and show up early so you know you can catch the sunset when the lighting and colors are the best.

2) Wait for it

Go to your favorite image search engine and type in ďsunsetĒ. Go ahead, Iíll waitÖ..Ok, now count how many of the images on the first page or two actually have the sun visible in them. Chances are, itís not that many. The sun can be very bright and can take a lot of beauty out of your pictures. You can take some shots during sunset, but the best ones will probably be taken after the sun goes over the horizon. Not only do you take the distracting glowing spot out of your picture, youíll probably see more spectacular colors as well.

sunset over the pacific ocean and rocks

3) Check The Weather

While an overcast sky can ruin a sunset shot, some well placed clouds can make your picture go from so-so to spectacular. They can also add more color and effect to your picture.

colorful sunset with clouds and crepuscular rays

4) Itís More Than Just Sky

Photos are much more interesting and effective if your eye actually has something to focus on. When you pick your spot, try to find something to put in the foreground of your shot. Whether it is illuminated by the sun, or is simply a silhouette, it can add a unique touch to your shot.

golden gate bridge in san francisco at sunrise

5)  Watch Your Eyes

Watch your eyes. We all know staring at the sun is dangerous to our eyes, but sometimes we can forget that when looking through a view finder. If youíre shooting straight at the sun, limit your eyeís exposure to harmful rays by wearing sunglasses or switching to your LCD screen.

6) Experiment

This is my suggestion for taking most types of pictures, sunsets included. Thereís no one type of camera setting thatís going to always give you great pictures. Try adjusting shutter speed, focus, and other settings and seeing what you come up with. The good news about sunset, as compared to other options, is that you can get quite a few shots in before itís over.

The most important thing to remember about sunsets is that they happen every day. Try different things. If they donít work out, youíll always have another chance to capture a fantastic shot tomorrow.

sunset in kenya