How to capture the perfect sunset

Sunsets are not only mesmerizing but they also make for very soothing moments. And as a photographer, there can hardly be a better time to use your skills to capture the moment. However, sunsets are not easy subjects when it comes to photography, even if you are an advanced photographer. Therefore, it is very important to follow certain guidelines. The following are some things to keep in mind when you want to capture mesmerizing sunset photographs:

The Right Time
When it comes to sunset photography, timing is very important. It is recommended that you set out about one hour before sunset so that you have plenty of time to locate the best place to take the photo. Most photographers wait about 20 minutes following a sunset because this is the time when you get the most amazing light.

The Sun is Secondary
Sunsets are one of the most photographed subjects and that makes it difficult to avoid ending up with the same result every time. The following are some tips on composition that will help you get original shots:

  • No matter how beautiful the sun is, it is not your main subject
  • Play with the backlighting, shadows, and foreground
  • Never center the sun

Taken with backlighting, the silhouette of a palm tree, a fisherman, or a boat will stand out in your photo, making it more interesting and giving it depth. If you want to show the backlit object or highlight an item close to you, then it is recommended that you use the flash.

Employ the Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds applies very well to sunset photography as it provides a guideline for the background-foreground ratio. If you have an interesting sky, then give the foreground one-third of the frame and keep the sky at two-thirds of it. You will also need to place important elements off-center.

Use the Right Camera Settings
Automatic camera settings are not optimal when it comes to sunset photography. To capture the perfect sunset, you will need to use manual settings. Here are some suggestions that will help you reflect the beauty of the golden hour:

  • White Balance: Set it to “cloudy” if the photo is too dull and to “daylight” if you want to capture warm shades.
  •  ISO: Use a low setting (100-200 ISO) if there is still light. As the light fades, increase ISO bit by bit.
  • Exposure: Point your camera at the sky and keep the sun outside the frame. This will help you get the perfect backlighting. Press and hold halfway down on the button and frame your subject with the sun before you take the shot.
  • Exposure Time: Play around with this setting and take test shots. If you want to make clouds and the sky stand out in your photo, then use longer exposure time.

Sunsets are majestic and as a photographer, you would definitely want to capture their beauty. However, capturing the perfect sunset is not easy as it requires several determining factors. Hopefully, the above-mentioned tips will help you in this regard.

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