September 19, 2014

Fall Photo Tips: Sunsets

When it comes to photographing a sunset, arrive early. There’s no predicting the sun and its most glorious moment—inevitably there will be that splendid one-minute window.

For Smartphones

  • Tap to focus your shot. This feature is important for helping your smartphone focus on the sunset.
  • Experiment with different angles. Photographing the sunset from different angles can get you completely different photos. Find the best one!
  • Posting this on Facebook or Instagram? Don’t overuse the filters. A mild filter can add a nice touch to your photos, but something too strong can ruin the look of your photo.
  • Create a shortcut to your camera app. You want to be ready at any moment to capture the perfect sunset.

For Digital Cameras

  • Using a DSLR? Quickly do test shots to check exposure compensation to be sure you don’t end up with large parts of the sky blown out.
  • Set ISO to its lowest setting (200 is low). This will still provide latitude for correcting underexposure.
  • Set white balance. Many cameras do a fair job with “Auto.” Alternatively try a “Daylight” or “Shade” setting, but again, snap a few test shots.
  • Some compact (point-and-shoot) cameras have a mode for photographing sunsets. Start with that.

Sunset Do’s and Don’ts

  • Be set up and ready at least half an hour before the sun drops below the horizon.
  • Best time to catch glorious color is likely 15 minutes before and after a sunset.
  • The sun can damage the sensor of a digital camera over time. Avoid pointing the camera directly at the sun.
  • The sun can damage your eyes if you’re not careful. Do not stare at the sun for extended periods of time.
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