Photographing Sunsets

Red sky sunset over western Montana.

Sunsets are a common subject for photographers.  Often photographers will take a few images shortly before and after a sunset.  The time is known as the “golden hour.”  That time is one half hour before and one half hour after sunset.  A great sunset image captures the landscape, the colors of the clouds, and any reflections in water.  Many photographers will drive and hike miles to a river, water falls, lake, or ocean.  The lighting during this time of day may be very dramatic, provided the weather conditions are not too harsh (rain, wind, fog will impact your camera and can cause damage).  A tripod is often recommended for capturing the best sunset photos, as the light will often be substantially subdued than the hour before sunset.

Your camera shutter speed will most likely need to be set around 1/60 or lower to capture the best sunset images.  The f-stop of f8-f22 will result in the majority of your image being in focus.  Using a low ISO (100 or 200) is recommended when taking sunset photographs.  Take several different photographs during the hour using a variety of shutter and fstop settings.  You may discover the manual settings will provide you with better images than the auto settings.  Finally, look around for other great subjects for your foreground and keep the sunset in the background.


About Douglas Wilks Photography

I am an advanced photographer who lives in western Montana. I create a variety of strong images using a DSLR, computer, and digital software. I am available for hire for full time, part time, or projects. Most of my images are of landscapes, still life, and events. I am always looking to improve my skills, network of friends and professionals, and portfolio. I look forward to creating new friends, contacts, and others who are interested in photography.
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