Try these six tricks to capture powerful photos imbued with the beauty and positive feelings of sunsets.
1. Always get a full view
Position yourself on a beach or a highpoint to allow an unrestricted view of the sun for maximum impact. An alternative is to capture the sun falling between trees, next to an attractive monument or reflecting off the water. Make sure your photo isn't too busy with other objects that distract attention.
2. Just keep shooting
More attempts will increase your chances of getting the right results. As the sun gets lower, it tends to get redder as well, so your results should improve in the final moments of a sunset.
3. Be on the lookout for clouds
Sunsets on cloudy evenings are more colorful and interesting than sunsets on clear evenings. While you may not actually capture the sun itself in these photos, capturing an amazing variety of colors and rich cloudy textures will make up for it.
4. Shoot off-center
Bring more life to your sunset photos by positioning the horizon away from the center of your photo. Instead, keep it near the bottom of the shot to dramatically highlight the sky. In combination with this, leaving some foreground in the shot, such as a person or a tree, will give greater interest and give you a great opportunity to work on silhouette photographs.
5. Try to use multiple exposure settings
Your camera's light meter will often under-expose sunsets because there is still quite a bit of light, so bracketing (taking several shots at different exposures) may be needed to find the perfect exposure. A little under-exposure can help to make the colors of a sunset richer. If you want to include the details of a person in the foreground, try using fill flash and night mode. This will bring out their details while still allowing enough exposure to get rich colors – remember to use a tripod in this case to avoid camera shake.
6. Zoom In
It is effective to use a long focal length for sunsets, because the sun will appear much larger and more impressive in the sky. Either choose the longest optical zoom lens setting on your camera or use a longer telephoto lens on your SLR.