Whether the days are getting shorter or longer, a mysterious twilight is sure to descend upon the earth. At the same time, the evening dawn fantastically colours the sky, so it looks different, not like the day. This everyday phenomenon can be mesmerizing in its beauty.
Sunsets are especially beautiful in the fall and spring. They are filled with uniquely radiant moments. You won’t have a hard time waiting until evening to take pictures of the sunset, but there are a few tricks you can use to make your pictures better.
Sunset is a beautiful natural phenomenon that you often want to capture as a memento. This article will tell you what you need to know to take pictures of sunsets.
Sunset photography is quite a specific task, which has its own difficulties. Without experience, it is quite difficult to make a good photo or video. It is important to prepare in advance, to understand all the subtleties of the process, then the result will not disappoint.
Preparation. It is always better to think everything through in advance, because the sunset is not so long, and it is as difficult as taking a photo of kids, so to take the desired photo must have time. It is preferable to visit the place where the picture will be taken 1-2 days in advance. It is important to determine what you want to see, to choose the right angle and location for the camera. Also, you should check the weather for the planned day and arrive before the sunset.
Weather. Of course, the choice of weather depends on the desired outcome. Many people think that clear skies are the key to a good photo, but the last rays of sunlight dissecting the colorful clouds look just as mesmerizing. Needless to say, it is better not to choose a rainy and foggy day?
The main subject. If the video is about the sunset, nothing should distract from it. It does not mean that you should shoot only the sun, because the composition is important. Just make sure that nothing on the set distracts your attention from the main subject.
To shoot such a complex object, such as the sunset, it is better to use a DSLR camera. If you do not have one, with its disadvantages, but also suit a digital camera and even a phone. The main thing is that the camera supports manual mode, or shutter speed and exposure settings. Since the shot will cover a wide area, it is important to have a wide-angle lens.
You can get away without using a tripod as long as you have a good spot to put your camera on.
Taking pictures of sunsets
When you first start taking pictures of sunsets, you may find that the exposure is a bit off when the videos get a bit too dark or a bit too bright. The best solution is to manually decrease the exposure and increase the shutter speed. There are no exact settings for taking pictures of sunsets. But don’t despair, it’s better to experiment with the shutter speed and exposure until you get what you want.
How to build a composition
Composition means combining different parts of the frame into a single whole that corresponds to the author’s idea. The main rules of composition in photography are the “golden ratio” and the “rule of thirds”.
When shooting a sunset the rule of a grid, which divides the frame into nine equal parts, is used more often. It is not supposed to locate the main objects at the intersection of lines, and the division of the frame into three horizontal parts. If all the attention on the video is on the beautiful sunset, the sky should take up two-thirds of the photo. If you want to pay more attention to the landscape, it should take up two parts.
Your sunset video will look much better if the horizon line is parallel to the upper and lower borders of the frame. Make sure that the horizon does not droop when you take the picture.
Showing the depth of the landscape when you are shooting will help in the use of the foreground. If there are flowers, grass and ears close by you can add them into the frame. The reflection of the sunset in the water looks very nice. It is always worth stepping back from the original idea and experimenting with different objects in the landscape.
Practical tips for sunset photos and videos
- Before you start taking pictures it is better to check if the lens is clean. If water drops or dust particles get into the frame, it will be much more difficult to process the picture afterwards;
- To get clear rays on the video coming from the sun, you can use the maximum aperture value. This will create a “star effect” with as many rays as the lens aperture has;
- You don’t have to be afraid to experiment with camera modes and video editing. Different setting options of the online video editor can make the shot look better in different stages of sunset;
- Changing the white balance when shooting can help turn even the most unremarkable sunset into a beautiful picture by adding more yellow or pink hues;
- To make your sunset photo as colourful as possible, you should shoot in HDR. Then not only the sky will be bright, but also the other objects;
- Even though the light is dimmer at sunset than it is during the day, you don’t need to set the ISO to a higher value. A high sensitivity will result in a grainy photo. It is better to set the ISO sensitivity below 800 and increase the shutter speed;
- Don’t take your camera screen for granted. A photo may appear darker or brighter, so it is important to pay attention to the histogram;
- Don’t use filters when shooting a sunset, as they always reduce the colour saturation in the video;
- It’s not a good idea to take pictures of sunsets with sunglasses. They will not let you get the exposure right when you take your pictures;
- If there are objects with recognizable forms in the foreground, you can use them as silhouettes. But be careful not to take your eyes off of them;
- It’s better to keep the focus not on the clouds but slightly below the middle of the frame;
- You don’t have to use only a wide-angle lens. A telephoto lens will make the sun and other objects look bigger;
- Any reflective surfaces can make the sunset shot more interesting. If there is water, windows, shop windows, you can safely use them in the frame;
- You don’t want to stop taking pictures right after the sun disappears over the horizon. After that, the sky still plays with bright colours for a long time, which will make a very atmospheric video.
Shooting a sunset is an interesting and inspiring activity that will add experience to every photographer’s piggy bank. Learning all the intricacies of sunset photography is a helpful practice indeed. To get a beautiful picture of the sunset, apart from your camera you will need a little patience: do not be afraid of experimenting with camera settings, correctly build new compositions, play with focus and do not forget to check the weather conditions.
I don’t know if you feel ready to shoot a sunset. It may have turned out to be a little more difficult than you might have originally thought. But once you take the time to get ready to shoot a great sunset, you’ll get it. After all, the true value of photography lies in appreciation and satisfaction in the moment. And every time you look at your work, you’ll have positive emotions, and you’ll go back mentally to that time and place. And so it will always be.