Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sunset Photography Tips

As we were finishing up editing our Siesta Key vacation photos, I realized that I should share some sunset photography tips.

Sunset Photography Tips 

Watching the sunset is one of our favorite things to do on vacation.  (We’re party animals.)  Watching the sun set is a very peaceful activity.  We should do it more at home.

Sunset Photography Tips (Siesta Key, Fl)

My tips for sunset photos are to be quiet and be the least amount of annoying as possible.  Nate’s tips are a little more complicated because he’s a camera hog.  I mean, he’s in charge of the DSLR and he doesn’t trust others to take precious sunset photos. I did ask him to explain to me what he was doing while taking the photos. I think I learned something.

Equipment (*affiliate links):

Tip #1: Set your camera on aperture priority. 

You should have a low ISO (~100, or higher if you do not have a tripod) and an F-stop of ~8 (for expanded depth of field). A tripod and remote will reduce camera shake, which would result in blurry photos.  If you don’t have a remote, you can set your self time for 2 seconds.

Tip #2:  Plan ahead and arrive early.

Sunset Photography Tips (Siesta Key, Fl)

The sun sets quickly.  Scope out places during the day that will lend themselves to great sunset photos.  Look for interesting places where you will be able to see the sun track all the way down and where there will also be opportunities for shots that include foreground objects (ex. sail boats, trees, rocks, mountains) and silhouettes.

Arrive about a half hour before sunset.  This will give you time to set up your camera and allow you to be able to capture the entire sunset.  Take lots of photos.  The higher quantity of photos, the higher probability that you’ll get some great shots.

Always have your camera on you at sunset. It’s hard to tell if it will be a good one or not.  We left our camera behind on our last night in Florida and missed capturing the best sunset of the week. Womp, womp. 

Tip #3: Consider the Weather

Sunset Photography Tips (Grand Canyon)

Clear days can produce some awesome color but clouds increase the types of patterns and lights in the sky.

Tip #4: Composition is key.

Sunset Photography Tips (Grand Canyon)

The horizon should not be in the middle of the photo. Shoot for the upper 1/3 or lower 1/3.

This is also where your filter will come in handy.  The filter darkens the sky to even out the exposure (otherwise the sky will be bright and the ground will be dark).

Remember those foreground objects we mentioned in Tip #1.  Use them to add visual interest to your photo.  Sunsets are pretty on their own but photograph best with a focal point.

Sunset Photography Tips (Lost Grove Lake, IA)

Tip #5:  Stick around after the sunset. 

Sunset Photography Tips (Siesta Key, Fl)

Some of the best light can come just after the sun sets.

Do you prefer watching the sun rise or the sun set?  Or do you prefer to watch New Girl instead?

Linking up to: Home Stories A to Z

20 comments:

  1. lol. I do love New Girl; that show is great!
    Almost as great as those photos! Nate is awesome. Thanks for the tips!

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  2. Great tips and even better photos! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. super helpful!! those pictures are amazing

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  4. I adore sunsets...but I definitely have no idea how to take amazing pictures of them...even after all of your awesome tips. I'll just have to pack you and Nate in my bags when I go on vacation so you guys take pictures for me. ;)

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  5. Awesome. Thanks for this. I'm camera-dumb.

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  6. Great tips!! I never think to bring my tripod anywhere!
    -Katie

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  7. These are excellent tips! And the photographs came out wonderfully! They are so gorgeous!

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  8. WOW, stunning photos. I'm a sunset (with drink in hand) kinda girl :0
    Love the tips but I'll probably have to read it 5 more times to understand some of it, or I should just let my camera hog read your post.

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  9. Freaking GORGEOUS!! It takes a real talent to end up with photos like that. Go Nate.

    Sunset. I don't like waking up earlier than necessary.

    New Girl. YES!

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  10. Gorgeous photos and great tips! Our neighbors two doors down sit out at the end of their driveway every night to watch the sunset. It's the sweetest thing I've ever seen :)

    Speaking of New Girl: what'd you think of the season finale?!

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  11. I am torn between the sunrise and sunset. I can sometimes catch the sun rising in the morning on my way in to work but by the time it sets im usually to pooped and already in bed lol!

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  12. Those pictures are gorgeous! Nate does good work! And that's an adorable photo of you two on the beach. :)

    Oh and for many months of the year, the sun rises as I'm getting ready for work. Sometimes it doesn't rise until I am already at work. (BOO for getting dressed in the dark.) I like this time of year when the sunset gets later and later. :)

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  13. Can you write a recipe for how to be the least amount of annoying as possible? I want to tattoo that on a few people.

    Bliss

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  14. Great photos! I'm glad to see Nate put on a polo for your photo.

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  15. Wow! Did Nate take all those pics? They are gorgeous. Thanks for the tips. I'm going to bookmark this for future reference.

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  16. Are these all your pics? Wow! They are amazing and capture the peaceful feeling of a sunset so well.

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  17. Has Nate considered doing pothography as a second job? Because he should! These pictures are amazing!

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  18. WHAT! That one under #3 is outRAGEOUS! Jaw-dropping! These tips rock. I take terrible sunset photos.

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  19. very helpful, hopefully the photos that I take will be great

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