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Here Comes The Sun: Capturing A Sunset With Your Camera

Blogger Gvido Grube shares his top tips on capturing the perfect sunset shot.

|  Landscape and Travel
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Sunset

 

Blogger Gvido Grube from canvas printing experts My-Picture.co.uk is back sharing his tips and tricks on how we can improve our photography skills. Today's article looks at sunsets and how we, as photographers, can capture them in all of their glory. 

What better way to exercise your camera expertise than by capturing one of our world's most beautiful and dramatic moments but before you take your camera out of its bag, there's actually quite a bit of prep work you can do. 

First and foremost, sunset photography demands good timing so do check what the sunset times are on the day you'll be taking your photos so you're out and set-up in plenty of time. You should scope out where some of the best views are for sunsets, you could even head out a day or two before to do a reccy of the area you're visiting. Other options are to research online for 'top sunset locations' and have a look in the ePHOTOzine gallery at locations members have captured sunset shots

Pay particular attention to how the setting sun impacts the surrounding environment as you never know, the view behind you might actually turn out to be the one that's really worth capturing. You should also take a look at the weather forecast because as odd as it may seem, post-rain will provide you with a much more impressive sunset than the one which had pleasant weather conditions come before it.

 

Sunset

 

Unless the sun sinking behind the horizon looks like something out of a Roland Emmerich’s flick, avoid just capturing the sun in-frame. Foreground detail adds interest and can be used to lead the eye through the frame. You can also create silhouettes from easy to recognise objects such as a lighthouse, yacht or even a person while reflections can also work really well at this time of the day, too. 

When it comes to positioning the horizon, never split the frame in two with it sat in the middle as it's just boring and not very interesting to look at. If the sunset is a little lackluster, make more of the foreground by positioning the horizon further up the frame while if the sunset turns out to be rather striking, lower the horizon so you can make more of the sky. 

Taking a superzoom out with you is one way you can ensure your kit bag will be a little lighter as you have multiple focal lengths in one lens. Alternatively, you'll need a wide-angle and telephoto as wides are great for landscapes where the sun is just one of the compositional elements in the frame while a telephoto can be used to make the sun the main feature of the frame (when the sunset is suitable). You're also going to want to secure your camera to a tripod and try using a graduated neutral density filter to balance the exposure as the sky will tend to be a lot brighter than your foreground. 

Switching to aperture priority and using exposure compensation while the sun is in the sky means you are able to shoot quickly when the light levels are rapidly changing but it is recommended you switch to working manually once it's dipped below the horizon. You could also try a bit of HDR photography but this is a technique all on its own so you should check out ePHOTOzine's HDR photography tutorials over in techniques if this is something you'd like to explore. 

If you want to create wall art from your sunset capture you should go for something like an acrylic mount as these are great for really emphasising the depth of hues in photos. 

 

About Author: Gvido Grube 

Gvido writes interesting and educational blog pieces for my-picture.co.uk, a website where you can transform your images into wall art, canvas prints or photo gifts.

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