Sunset Photography Tips

Here are a few top tips for Sunset photography with your Pentax camera

26/04/2013 - 00:00

Sunset
Photo by David Clapp
 
At this time of year, the sun sets at around 8.30 in the evening, giving you the perfect opportunity to head out in the evening and capture some stunning sunset shots with your Pentax kit. Wait much longer, and you'll be out until gone 9.00pm to get a decent sunset shot.

DSLRs: If you're using a DSLR then you have a couple of choices for lenses. You can either go for a wide angle lens, which will enable you to capture more of a landscape scene as well as the sunset, or you can go for a zoom lens and make the sun itself the main focus of your shots.

A graduated filter will be handy for balancing your exposure. Silhouetted landscapes can also look good in sunset photography.

Compacts: Some Pentax compacts, like the Optio VS20, have a sunset mode, which will help you to create that orange glow associated with the time of day.

Metering: You may like sunsets but they can confuse your camera if you meter from the sun. Instead, move your camera so the sun is just out of frame, take a reading and use exposure lock.

Timing: Sunset photography requires some thought as to where you'll be when the sun starts to disappear for the night. It helps to know where the sun will set in your area so you can head out and find a great location beforehand. You also need to arrive well before the sun begins otherwise you'll be setting your kit up as the sun sets and as a result you'll miss your shots.

Weather conditions: A cloudy sky will add interest to the shot, but too cloudy, and you won't be able to see much. A cloud free sky is great for colour, but a few clouds here and there will add texture and create interesting patterns.

Safety: Remember that you should never look directly at the sun through your camera lens. You can use something solid to shield the lens from the direct sun, or wait the sun is very low in the sky and diffused by haze, cloud and pollution.

Composition: The middle of the shot isn't always the best place to put the sun. Try experimenting with different compositions. If there's something particularly interesting in the landscape, bring the horizon up. If the sky looks spectacular but the ground is a little boring, bring your horizon line down. Try placing the sun to the left or right to make the shot more pleasing to the eye.




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