Photo Tip: Sunset Photography

July 16, 2013

Written by Derek Adams at the Ellisville Location

Photo by School of Imaging Instructor & St. Louis Cardinals Photographer, Scott Rovak

At sunset, stunning colors stretch across the sky making it possible to take some of the most amazing photos of the horizon. Here are a few helpful tips for capturing these breathtaking photos. Largely, the same rules apply whether you’re shooting with a Point & Shoot or a DSLR.

The first thing to do when taking a sunset picture is to plan the location, and do it before the sun goes down so there is plenty of time to setup. There are a few things to keep in mind when finding a location. A low traffic area can give the most opportunities for a photo without any unexpected guests in the frame. Also, it can add to the photo having something in the forefront like a palm tree or statue creating a beautiful silhouette.

Secondly, when taking a sunset picture, a tripod can make all the difference in getting that perfect shot. A tripod is essential when dealing with low light photography. It will help keep the camera steady, offering the sharpest image possible, and for the DSLR shooter it offers the ability to take long exposures. Utilizing a shutter release cable will give the best result for a long exposure.

The third thing to remember when taking a sunset picture is to adjust the white balance. Every camera has a few preset white balance options, and of those, the most popular are cloudy and shade because they tend to warm the look of the sky giving the colors a very rich feel. Play with the white balance on the camera and adjust to what works best for the sunset.

Lastly, when taking sunset photos, keep on shooting. Take multiple pictures to optimize the photo potential from the sunset. Some of the best pictures come right after the sun has passed the threshold of the horizon illuminating rich orange and purple rays through the sky also revealing more details in the clouds.

Following these few simple steps can help you get some great images of the sunset. Stop by any of our locations and see one of our knowledgeable staff if you would like help getting started with your sunset photography or if you have any questions. Happy Shooting!

Want more help improving your photos? Check out our School of Imaging Classes!