Conservator » Editor's Pick » Staring at the sun

Staring at the sun

All photographers want to bottle that perfect sunset. Results greatly vary.

Avoid capturing pale imitations by following six simple tips. ©DUC
Avoid capturing pale imitations by following six simple tips. ©DUC

The rich colours, dramatic lighting and strong contrasts of sunset photography produce stunning images. But if you find your camera is capturing pale imitations of the real vibrant deal in front of you, be enlightened with these few simple tips.

Get ahead

Sunsets are short-lived and can be captured on the fly, but the best shots are a product of forethought and planning. Search for locations where you’ll be able to track the sun all the way down, and interesting compositions with foreground elements and silhouette potential. Find out what time the sun sets and arrive early; the lead-up to sunset, and the time after, can prove equally magical. Watch the weather, too: different cloud patterns create different types of light. Smoke, dust and haze add an extra element to your scene.

Shoot high and low

If your camera chooses the settings you work with, results may not capture the full potential of the available light. Sunsets are great to try aperture or shutter priority modes for shots at different exposures. Experiment! There is no one correct setting at this time of day.

Don’t look at the sun

Sunsets not only create beautiful tones in the sky: they also cast a warm light for other types of photography. Keep an eye out for scenes around you that develop as the sun goes down – you may find ideal conditions for a portrait, landscape or macro shot.

Don’t stop

A sunset constantly changes, producing a myriad of colours even well after the sun dips below the horizon. The various stages of twilight can be just as stunning, particularly with clouds in play. Keep shooting at different exposures and focal lengths until it’s over.

Photo captions

The twilight following a sunset can be just as stunning as the setting sun itself. Paired with an interesting focal point, a scene can be made more memorable.

Snap and post!

Share your photos with our nature-loving community by posting to DUC’s Facebook page or tagging DucksUnlimitedCanada on Instagram.

Jeope Wolfe

Jeope Wolfe

Jeope Wolfe is a graphic designer for Ducks Unlimited Canada, hobbyist-level photographer and new-ish dad who chases his toddler daughter around the house, yard, and country.

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