Imagine you are on vacation somewhere with beautiful scenic views. One of the best memories you can capture from your trip is a colorful sunset. Sometimes, these photos can be caught without planning, but most often in those cases the photographer has planned and researched every detail in order to get the perfect shot. Here are a few tips for how to ensure you can be a successful sunset photographer!

Use silhouettes as focal points. This makes the colors in the photo pop and increases the sharpness of the silhouetted subject. Below in one of the photos I took, dune grass is used as the focal point and is silhouetted against the horizon.

Tripods. When taking photos with longer exposures, it is difficult to keep the camera as steady as is necessary to end up with a flawless shot. Using a tripod will help you maintain your position and keep the camera steady enough to catch every detail.

Manual Focus. Sometimes it can make for a more interesting snapshot when you have the ability to adjust the focus as you see fit. You can play around until you blur just the right spot in the photo or help to focus on a specific aspect of the scene.

Keep Shooting. Sunsets, as you probably know, are constantly changing. The light changes every second and the angle of the sun’s rays on your camera lens and the clouds and sky will continue to rapidly change as the moments progress. Keep on shooting until well after the sun has set to ensure you capture every little glimmer and change.

Don’t put the horizon in the middle of the photo. Although I am definitely guilty of this, to keep it interesting, position the horizon in an unexpected space within the photo. Anyone can position it right in the middle; it takes creativity to play around with it and will ultimately create a photo that draws you in!

If you keep these few tips in mind, you will be strides closer to capturing a gorgeous sunset. Below are some of my favorite sunset photos from my yearly vacation to North Truro on Cape Cod, Mass. These were taken by me with my Canon Rebel T3 with a regular standard lens.

A fabulous post-sunset shot capturing gorgeous purples, pinks and oranges.

A fabulous post-sunset shot capturing gorgeous purples, pinks and oranges.

Shooting through the dune grass highlights the details and makes for a beautiful photo as the sun goes down.

Shooting through the dune grass highlights the details and makes for a beautiful photo as the sun goes down.

Here's a shot of the sun just before it sets, highlighting the Pilgrim Tower in Provincetown, MA.

Here’s a shot of the sun just before it sets, highlighting the Pilgrim Tower in Provincetown, Mass.

 

Do you have any sunset photo tips that I haven’t listed here? What do you think of the above snapshots? Share your feedback and other tips in the comments section!

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One Response to Tips for Sensational Sunset Snapshots

  1. Anne says:

    Great tips! Question:my daughters and I love taking pictures and I am looking to get a “good” camera for us to enjoy…any suggestions?

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