How to Make Sunset Photography Truly Dynamic

Oct 25, 2010

Sunset photography is visually appealing and offers a unique way to capture landscapes and people. However, getting high quality results requires some knowledge and practice. It’s better to use a DSLR for sunset photos, although it is possible to get good images with a smartphone.

Sunset Photography Starts with the Foreground

A sunset on its own is beautiful, but the visual contrast supplied by a compelling foreground will make your photos much more dynamic. Choose a foreground focal point such as a waterfall or unusual rock formation to create depth. As an added bonus, this foreground will look different in a digital format in sunset lighting than it does at any other time of day.

Underexpose the Sunset

Have you ever shot a picture of the sunset that turned the sun into nothing more than a big, bright blob? You may have also photographed stunning sunset colors that came out muted and boring. Fortunately, these problems can be solved by underexposing the sunset. You don’t have to take this concept too far; a slight underexposure goes a long way toward creating a fantastic image.

Use Silhouettes to Your Advantage

We’ve all seen photos with amazing silhouettes, but mimicking this can be tricky. Fortunately, there’s a simple trick that will help you turn the foreground into a professional looking silhouette. Pick something that doesn’t fill up a major portion of the frame (and do not center it) and has an easily recognizable shape. Next, decide on how much depth of field you need. Remember that if your foreground subject is fairly close you will need a smaller aperture to maintain sharpness throughout the image, and you may have to increase shutter speed to stop any motion in the foreground.

Enhance Your Landscape Photography Skills

Landscapes work well with sunsets, but you need to learn how to capture them in prime lighting conditions first. Steinberg Photography offers photo tours and workshops for everyone from novice to professional photographers. Check out our homepage to find out more so that you can begin expanding your repertoire to include sunset photography!