The secrets of sunset photography
There’s nothing quite like a spectacular sunset! It brings joy to our hearts and peace to our minds. Not to mention the fact it creates countless amazing photo opportunities! But sunset photography takes a bit of mastering. Perhaps you’ve lined up the kids ready for that epic photo at the end of a wonderful day at the beach, only to find you can’t get the shot you want? Either the sunset looks great and the kids look really dark, or the kids look great but the sky looks washed out. It’s a common problem. But with a little practise, anyone can master the secrets of getting a great portrait photo at sunset!
Striking a Balance
The trick to getting great sunset photography is striking a balance between aperture and shutter speed. This means letting in enough light in to illuminate your subject, but not so much that the sunset is bleached out.
How to do it
The best way to achieve this is just to try it out. This means starting with an F-stop and shutter speed you ideally want. Next you’ll want to altering them slightly until you have the right balance of light to expose the subject as well as the sky.
The subject will always remain fairly dark, but if they are angled towards the light enough, you should be able to strike the right balance.
Sometimes, you’ll need a little extra help to add some more light onto your subject to get a great sunset shot
How to do it
The best ways to add light are by using a flash or a reflector.
I prefer a reflector as it gives your sunset photography a more natural look. Angle the reflector to bounce light from the sunset onto your subject’s face. This will lighten your subject whilst still allowing you to exposure for the sky.
Embrace the silhouette
One of the best things about sunset photography is getting great silhouette shots. I just LOVE them. I think they can tell exciting stories and evoke emotion in the viewer.
How to do it
Silhouettes are perhaps the easiest sunset photography shot to master. Start but setting your camera’s exposure for the sky. Next, make sure your shutter speed is fast enough to capture the action. Then just snap away! If your subject are too light, reduce your exposure until they are dark enough. Here you could also use shutter speed priority mode to allow your camera to do the hard work..
Louisa Williams is a family photographer based near Cambridge. You can see more of her current work and enquire about commissions here .
If you’d like some beautiful new family portraits, you can find more details about her family sessions here. Ready to book and want to secure your session date? Please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in this form.
Louisa also offers beginner’s photography courses for parents. Learn how to use your Digital SLR camera to take better photos of your children and family. More information on group courses and individual teaching sessions can be found here.
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