Because they are such dramatic aspects of nature, every nature photographer’s first love is the sunset or sunrise, and any photograph album is incomplete without them.
However, they are still a challenge to snap successfully and they can be quite disappointing, if proper care is not taken regarding the set-up of the shot.
When it comes to clicking pictures of sunsets and sunrises, special care should be taken in the set-up and techniques. There are many tips and techniques that can be followed to make your sun shots a hit:
Tips for successful sunset and sunrise shots
Plan ahead: Sunset or sunrise will last for only a few minutes, so proper planning is necessary to click the perfect sun shot.
Some sunset or sunrise shots are good if they are shot spontaneously, but to get the most out of them, planning is necessary.
For example, if you have planned a sunrise shot and get there just before the sun is about to rise, you may miss the shot while you are busy arranging for the shot.
Look out for different vantage points from which to shoot the best sunset or sunrise shots. It might be a place where you can show the sun rising from in between two mountains or a sun setting over the sea.
Check all probable conditions which can add glory to your sunset or sunrise shots. Twilight photos also work better if you miss the correct sunset or sunrise shot.
Do not forget the weather conditions; if the sky is too cloudy, you will not get a perfect shot as the clouds cover the sky and hide the sun.
Composing sunset or sunrise shots:
Composing is the best part of any picture, and is particularly applicable to sun shots.
Focal lengths: If you choose different focal lengths, you can achieve a range of different compositions in your pictures.
Sunset or sunrise means shooting the sun in half portions, so when you are clicking the images, see that you have covered the landscape properly.
This amplifies the beauty of the sunset or sunrise. Wide-angle focal lengths give better sun shots.
Rule of thirds: Ensure that the focal point of the picture fits inside the invisible rectangular lines. Whatever the focal point may be, be it the sunset or sunrise or any object or landscape or sky, see that the focal point fits inside these lines.
Silhouettes: If you go blank when thinking about shooting sunsets or sunrises in vast open places, then make sure that you click silhouettes for creating a subject in your pictures.
You can add variety to the sunset or sunrise shots by adding a subject to the picture frame. The subject can vary from a large mountain range to a small palm tree on the beach.
By adding silhouettes to the sunset or sunrise, you are giving a context in the picture and the composition has a complete look.
Other tips for success in sun shots:
No to auto focus: Never choose auto focus when clicking images of sunsets or sunrises. Stick to manual focus and adjust the settings according to your requirements of the shot.
Some cameras do not support clicking images in certain lighting conditions, so manual focus is suggested.
Watch around: If you are clicking a sunset or sunrise shot, it doesn’t mean that you should stick to them only. Watch the surroundings and see different colors which are created by the sun.
The beautiful golden lights, when spread on different objects, create awesome shades which color your photograph.
You can even click an awesome portrait or a macro shot or a landscape shot in the golden color of the lighting sun.