Written by Chuck Jackson
While there are other tips (and photographers write somewhat comprehensive articles on this subject), here are a few things to try the next time you want to nail that perfect sunset picture! Sunset pictures are particularly beautiful client pleasers during weddings and/or engagement sessions (as in the example above).
1) Underexpose: Typically, I underexpose sunset pix by 2/3 to a full stop (or more ) if sunset is farther than 10-15 minutes away. Bracketing your shots at 1/3 stop intervals is always a safe bet!
2) Timing: The best, most colorful/vibrant sunset pix are usually just as the sun is about to touch the horizon or for a few minutes following the actual “setting” of the sun (the window of about 10-15 minutes before and after sunset).
3) Sunglasses: This is a personal decision but after doing this a while you realize that looking into the direction of the sun (Note: You should never look directly at the sun!), setting or not, can actually wreak havoc on your vision (momentarily – I am sure staring at the sun with unprotected eyes can have long-term permanent effects, as well, if one is careless…). So to mitigate that, I wear shades when looking through the viewfinder – this helps (again, never looking directly at the sun)!
Chuck Jackson is a wedding photographer for PhotoActive Photography in Tampa, FL. Check out http://www.photoactiveweddingphotography.com to see wedding images and samples from other photography genres, as well!