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Learn By Doing Photography

How to take a picture of a sunset or sunrise – Learn by Doing

Assignment #37 – Take a picture of a sunset or sunrise!

Look for composition and beautiful colors!

The settings on this picture were:
1/1600 second
ISO – 500
Focal Length – 18mm
Taken with Canon 60D using the 18-55mm lens

If you have ever taken a picture of a sunset you might have felt a bit of frustration! Either the Sunset was perfect and the landscape way to dark or the landscape was perfect and the sky was blown out with no color. Here are a few tips that might help you out! If you have any tips to add please add comment so we can all learn!

Here are a few tips that might help out:

  • 1. What is your vision – look for a point of interest. Silhouettes always add interest whether it’s a person or the mountain line.
  • 2. Composition – look for rule of thirds in your horizon, decide if you want more sky or landscape. Do you have a foreground/middle ground/ background in your shot. Remember this are the rules we always hear that work, but you decide what you like best about your composition.
  • 3. Try different focal lengths as well as horizontal vs vertical pictures.
  • 4. This is the digital world so try a variety of exposures and see which one you like best.
  • 5. If you don’t know where to start go to Aperture priority set your aperture and see what the camera says. From there try changing your aperture or use your exposure compensation to try different experiments and see which one you like best.
  • 6. This is the best tip I ever heard…. Don’t leave when the sunsets. Most folks pull off to the side of the road, take a picture right when the sun goes down. Just wait, after some time passes this is when some amazing color comes into play!
  • 7. If you’re shooting a picture of someone at sunset and want those beautiful sunset colors, but you also want to see the person. Expose for the sunset and use a little fill flash on your subjects face.
  • 8. As the sun goes down look around you for other things to photography. The light changes so quickly as it dances across flowers, spiderwebs so keep your eyes open for all the different possibilities.

Watch this video below to get some very specific tips on shooting sunsets or sunrises. 

I will be watching more videos by PhotoClassPro “Photo Tips”. There are some excellent tips on sunrise or sunset photography in this video. It’s pretty long so if you want to jump to the good tips move all the way up to 8:42


Re Cap on Video:

First he shoots in Aperture priority using F/7 (since almost every lens has this aperture) ISO 400 using a kit lens of 18-55mm wide angle.

With those settings the camera told him to use 1/2000th on the shutter speed, but not liking it so far.

Now that you know the basic settings you can switch to manual mode and double your shutter speed to 1/4000th of a second to see what happens. The other way you can achieve the same thing is to adjust your exposure compensation while still in aperture priority.

In essence what you’re doing is speeding up the shutter to remove the light. The side effect to removing the light causes those colors to saturate and become more effective. In a nut shell what he did was underexposed the picture! Give it a try and see what happens!

Remember you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on DigitalCamFan FaceBook wall. If you have questions about “Learn By Doing” Please refer to the guideline page. If you have no questions post away!

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Learn By Doing - Let's slow it down now!
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