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How to Take the Best Sunset Photo Ever

By Hanna Welch | October 4, 2018 |

greater than 3 minutes

With our advice you will quickly learn how to get accurate colors and balance exposures while taking pictures of some of the most gorgeous sunsets.

We all know that taking sunset pictures is popular any time of the year, and there are good reasons for it. Sunset pictures are very rich in colors, they are full of dramatic lighting. Do you realize that without too much effort you could get truly amazing shots?

Unfortunately, what amateur photographers might often get are some pale imitations of sunsets, with color intensity lost, or the composition not working in the pictures. Our guide will help you shoot your best sunset photos ever!

Make sure that you capture the sunset’s real colors: find the key to that in camera settings. Adjust exposure settings, or your camera might not get the expected scene in extreme lighting situations.

1. Get more sun in the shot

Learn some professional secrets for taking the most beautiful sunset photo ever so you will definitely be proud of your work: get more sun in the photo

It is a good idea to quickly take some trial shots first. Review the resulting image using the histogram display. Make sure the graph isn’t cut off at the right edge, if the graph is cut off you’ll need to select a faster shutter speed to reduce the exposure, and try another shot.

The test shots will give you a good idea of how to adjust focal length. Do not tilt the camera.

Try to get more sun in the shot and fill the frame with orange glow. For good image quality, keep the ISO low (100-200).

When shooting at sunrise or sunset, obtaining the correct exposure can be difficult in the auto shooting modes. So set your camera to Manual mode, select a narrow aperture (like f/16 or f/22), and adjust the shutter speed until the metering display is centred.

2. Importance of white balance

Learn some professional secrets for taking the most beautiful sunset photo ever so you will definitely be proud of your work: how to set white balance

Your camera may attempt to correct the color cast if your white balance is set to Auto. Use the Direct Sunlight or the Daylight settings to capture the real hues.

If you need to make the colors in the landscape warmer, just change the white balance from Daylight to Shade.

But this advice doesn’t always help. It may be impossible to capture a shot that looks warm enough while shooting at sunset or sunrise.

The most common situation is when the bulk of the sky is clear and it fills in the shadows with a cool blue light. For such situations, choose the Daylight or Cloudy options, but use Shade settings to warm up the shadows. This way the sky will look warmer.

The easiest way to capture maximum detail in both the darker foreground and brighter sky is to use a neutral density graduated filter for reducing the contrast.

3. How to use picture controls and styles

Learn some professional secrets for taking the most beautiful sunset photo ever so you will definitely be proud of your work: use picture controls

There are different options for Picture Styles in your camera. If you want to add extra intensity, switch to Vivid from the Standard option. It works better for creating raw files. This will help you apply selective adjustments to photos during the editing process, and also fine-tune the overall exposure without losing quality.

4. How to shoot the sun

Learn some professional secrets for taking the most beautiful sunset photo ever so you will definitely be proud of your work: right time for shooting

You’ll have to wait until the sun is at the closest point to the horizon to include it in the frame. The sun will be less intense too, which is better for photographing. Be prepared to adjust the exposure, because in extreme conditions your evaluative metering system might not react the way you expect.

Of course, the main secret is to be in the right place and at the right time. Use a special “sunset calculator”, which tells what time the sun will go down for any date and location. But be sure to give yourself some time to prepare by trying to arrive in advance.

5. How to send large files

Learn some professional secrets for taking the most beautiful sunset photo ever so you will definitely be proud of your work: how to send large files

Of course, after getting some really beautiful photos you will want to share them with friends. If your friends are a distance away, you will probably be looking for a secure file transfer service. And that isn’t always an easy task! Try using Filewhopper to send big files. It’s very easy and fast! And you don’t even have to buy a monthly plan, just pay a fee for what you need to send right now.

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