Here at our Beach House, there is no shortage of gorgeous sunsets. The intense oranges, pinks and yellows of twilight take our breath away every time – we never get tired of it! And we love making a ritual out of the sunset by arranging colorful furniture along the beachfront so our guests have the perfect setting to capture the magical moment when the sun goes down.
At the time, it is easy to take a clear mental picture of a stunning sunset, but photographing the splendor of the occasion is not as straightforward with a camera.
So we asked Bouke Maddock at photography studio Picture This in Camana Bay (thanks Mr B!) to give us some easy-to-follow guidelines on how to take the perfect sunset shot. If you have ever been disappointed with a so-so photograph of the sunset then read on, you can’t go wrong with his top tips! Ready, Set, Shoot!
Think about the image, plan ahead and take your time. Sunsets only last for a short time so be in your spot ahead of time and get ready. Make sure your camera is working, with plenty of battery life and plenty of memory space or film.
Capturing people with the sunset requires a choice – to flash or not to flash. For great silhouettes make sure the flash is off. If your camera is in automatic usually the flash will not engage as the sun is providing a sufficient light source so you will need to force the flash.
Choose your white balance – this is the reason that a lot of sunset images are not as colorful as you would like. Try shade and cloudy or if the camera has it use the sunset mode.
Use different settings – this requires you to be a little quick with your settings but try different scene modes for compact cameras. For SLR’s use different shutter speeds, try to use shutter or aperture priority for quick changes. Your ISO should be at the lowest setting (around 100 ISO).
Use different focal lengths by zooming in. Wide-angle images make for beautiful landscapes but to make the sun more of a feature you will need to zoom in.
Don’t just point at the sun look around and use the scenery as well. Using the reflections in water can really make a sunset image.
Always carry a camera even if it is on a phone but remember if you want a large print or a stunning canvas a dedicated camera is the best choice every time.
Check out sunset times so you can be ready.
Sometimes the best images are just after the sun has gone down so don’t rush off.
Once you have the best sunset image the best thing you can do is show it off by printing it!