Sunset Photography Tips

As we were finishing up editing our Siesta Key vacation photos, I realized that I should share some sunset photography tips.

Sunset Photography Tips 

Watching the sunset is one of our favorite things to do on vacation.  (We’re party animals.)  Watching the sun set is a very peaceful activity.  We should do it more at home.

Sunset Photography Tips (Siesta Key, Fl)

My tips for sunset photos are to be quiet and be the least amount of annoying as possible.  Nate’s tips are a little more complicated because he’s a camera hog.  I mean, he’s in charge of the DSLR and he doesn’t trust others to take precious sunset photos. I did ask him to explain to me what he was doing while taking the photos. I think I learned something.

Equipment (*affiliate links):

Tip #1: Set your camera on aperture priority. 

You should have a low ISO (~100, or higher if you do not have a tripod) and an F-stop of ~8 (for expanded depth of field). A tripod and remote will reduce camera shake, which would result in blurry photos.  If you don’t have a remote, you can set your self time for 2 seconds.

Tip #2:  Plan ahead and arrive early.

Sunset Photography Tips (Siesta Key, Fl)

The sun sets quickly.  Scope out places during the day that will lend themselves to great sunset photos.  Look for interesting places where you will be able to see the sun track all the way down and where there will also be opportunities for shots that include foreground objects (ex. sail boats, trees, rocks, mountains) and silhouettes.

Arrive about a half hour before sunset.  This will give you time to set up your camera and allow you to be able to capture the entire sunset.  Take lots of photos.  The higher quantity of photos, the higher probability that you’ll get some great shots.

Always have your camera on you at sunset. It’s hard to tell if it will be a good one or not.  We left our camera behind on our last night in Florida and missed capturing the best sunset of the week. Womp, womp. 

Tip #3: Consider the Weather

Sunset Photography Tips (Grand Canyon)

Clear days can produce some awesome color but clouds increase the types of patterns and lights in the sky.

Tip #4: Composition is key.

Sunset Photography Tips (Grand Canyon)

The horizon should not be in the middle of the photo. Shoot for the upper 1/3 or lower 1/3.

This is also where your filter will come in handy.  The filter darkens the sky to even out the exposure (otherwise the sky will be bright and the ground will be dark).

Remember those foreground objects we mentioned in Tip #1.  Use them to add visual interest to your photo.  Sunsets are pretty on their own but photograph best with a focal point.

Sunset Photography Tips (Lost Grove Lake, IA)

Tip #5:  Stick around after the sunset. 

Sunset Photography Tips (Siesta Key, Fl)

Some of the best light can come just after the sun sets.

Do you prefer watching the sun rise or the sun set?  Or do you prefer to watch New Girl instead?

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