Being a night owl, you will only catch me taking sunset photos. One time a friend dragged me to workout at 5 a.m. Came home and slept the rest of the day . . . ruined my day. Have never made that mistake again.
Sunset is one of the best times to capture vibrant photos with warm hues in the fading light. Here are a few tips:
1. Be Prepared
You won’t have time to figure out the perfect spot for your photo during the brief peak colors of your sunset. Also, remember that a mountain or building can obstruct the colors of your setting sun. Set up your tripod and decide how you are going to frame your photo in advance.
2. Patience Makes Perfect
Vibrant colors are on display for only a minute or two so be prepared to capture sunsets at their peak. Take a series of shots because a few seconds might make the difference between an average photo and a picture perfect photo.
3. Go With The Flow
In the photo on this page, a canoe appeared at the peak time. Sometimes unexpected surprises can be a blessing.
Today I was photographing a garden for a landscape website. My golden retriever decided to plant himself at the edge of my frame. Was trying to get him out of the way and he wouldn’t budge. After a few minutes, I realized that this was a rare opportunity when he was actually posing for the camera in a paradise setting.
Be flexible and have eyes to see opportunities that come your way. Note your ever changing surroundings. You may discover that a bird flying overhead or a kite unexpectedly appearing outside your frame is your real Kodak moment.
4. Camera Settings
Bright colors can sometimes confuse your auto mode setting. Experiment with landscape mode for colorful sunsets.
5. Use a Tripod
Low lights may require longer exposure times. You can’t go wrong with a tripod.
6. Crop Your Photos
Often an ordinary photo turns into extraordinary after cropping. Many times I have had to use photos that I didn’t particularly like for web articles. After cropping and Photoshop adjustments, photos often take on a garden magazine look. Professional photographers crop to accent their focal points and stories. Use their secret for your photos.
7. Continue Photographing
Even after the sun has gone down, continue to look for opportunities. Street lamps glow. Car headlights bring a stream of light. Stars shine. Skylines come alive with city lights. Homes can take on a Norman Rockwell feel. Your award winning photograph might come after the sunset in the waning light.