9 tips for better sunset/sunrise photos

I was recently asked to put together some basic tips for capturing sunsets as its that time of the year here in Okinawa where we are blessed with amazing light shows daily between around 7-7:30pm. 

If your new to capturing sunsets and just want some tips then heres 9 to help you get better shots, read on below!

A few of the tips apply to any picture taking also. 

*only include in the shot what you want to show..
(be mindful of distracting objects cluttering up the image that take away from the shot, that goes for any image)

*Look for interesting clouds/cloud patterns
(Sometimes the best shots are not even looking towards the sunset itself)

*Take panoramas to show the whole scene. 
(often just a single shot can’t show the whole scene depending on how wide of a lens you have, any camera or even phone these days is cable of making nice wide panoramas showing the whole scene.)

*Keep your horizon straight!
(theres nothing more annoying then capturing a great sunset then noticing your horizon is dipping down to the left or right by a few degrees. This is what separates the pros from amateurs. It only takes a few seconds to correct and you can even do it in your phone)

*Under expose the sky a little. 
(If you have control of your exposure in camera then under exposing the sky a little will help to saturate and show more details of the sunset)

*Use flash
(If your trying to take a selfie or pic of your friend at sunset with no flash your not going to see anything except for a black shape, thats because your cameras sensor can’t capture all that dynamic range like our eyes can. The only way to correct for this is to use a flash)

*include some interesting foreground. 
(Having some nice foreground object like ocean, rocks etc.. will help create depth to the photograph rather then just having a shot of the sky itself)

*Dont be in a hurry to leave. 
(many of the best colours don’t appear until well after the sun has dropped below the horizon, if you can always stick around an extra 10 minutes at least after you think the sunset is over because often the prettiest colours will present themselves after you’ve packed up and ready to leave. 

*Look for reflections

(You don’t always have to point your camera straight at the sun. Look for cool reflections like building windows, and pools of water. Try getting down really low a puddle of water to catch a mirror like reflection and get twice as awesome of a sunset 8)

Hope you enjoy the tips! Get out and start catching some better sunset/sunrise shots!


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