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Sunset over Ayr

By RojBlake
Taken from the Scottish coastline at Ayr, cropped and cleaned up with Skylum Luminar 3. Am I making any mistakes? Any suggestions are welcome.

Tags: Sunset Summer Sun Landscape and travel

GB Sports Photographer & The Panasonic LUMIX S1


paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
9 May 2019 8:09AM
What you have done, you have done well. The problem with these images, almost always, is that the sky looks superb to the eye, but doesn't then record that well. There is nothing really there compositionally. No subject. Nothing to rest the eye on.

Ideally you need some sort of focal point, the sky then becoming an attractive background.


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banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4036 Canada
9 May 2019 1:04PM
Hi James.

Youve been around a while, and this is your first gallery upload, and youve selected the Critique Gallery.

Its a decent shot. As Paul mentions, shots like this are usually best if theres a sunset behind a subject, mountains, trees, people, boats, etc. Theres is actually a boat in this, but its very small and far away, so easy to miss. Hills and other objects also very far off.

The exposure is nice, - to add drama to scenes like this try to underexpose a little, it can boost colours, darken clouds, and look dramatic.

Ive done this in the mod, - less exposure, warmer white balance, so you can see the difference.

Look forward to more uploads now that youve broken the ice!


pamelajean Plus
13 1.2k 2094 United Kingdom
9 May 2019 7:36PM
Everyone likes to shoot a sunset, James, and this is an attractive one, but for it to stand out from the crowd, it needs to have something extra, the focal point that Paul mentions.

We've all snapped a spur-of-the-moment sunset, but when it is planned, and given serious compositional consideration, you have a chance of turning your snapshot into something with more impact.
Choosing your location in advance helps a lot. Otherwise, you might see an amazing sunset somewhere and find nothing else of interest to give it that impact.
Places where you have good foreground and background interest are particularly great for sunsets because these will help create a composition that's much more three-dimensional.

The Golden or Magic Hour will often deliver the most satisfying results. And stay around after the sun has set because these times often yield the most dramatic colours.

Silhouettes look good in a sunset shot, to add mood and context. Be sure to choose bold and unfussy subjects that have an instantly recognisable shape because these work the best.

So don't think along the lines of "making mistakes", just try to be purposeful and consider your composition. However, having said that, we all learn best from making our own mistakes. I hope that some of my suggestions prove to be helpful. There are quite a few tutorials about shooting sunsets on this site, which you an find if you go to the "How To" in the menu at the top of this page, then to "Techniques" and in the Search section type "Sunsets".
If you can't do that, use this LINK to get there.


RojBlake 1 5 United Kingdom
9 May 2019 10:27PM
A big thank you for all comments, I have learned a lot from what has been explained. Even though I have been taking pictures since I was 10 or 11, I want to learn to take a good photograph and the pointers made will aid me to move onward and upward. Thanks, James...

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