Written by Tina Esser on August 19 2013

5 Fun Tips for Capturing Sunsets

Learn how to photograph better sunsets during the ideal "golden hour" time period, which ends very quickly.


1. Create focal points in the foreground, such as plants, sculptures, or silhouettes. These focal points will draw the eye, create a mood, and can be centered on the photo or placed accordingly to the rule of thirds.

2. Play with your manual settings (aperture and exposure). Don't use the "auto" setting on your camera, adjust until you get the optimal result.

3. Use manual focus. Many cameras struggle with auto-focusing in harsh lighting, so make sure to manually focus the camera. When using auto-focus, photos may often appear focused on the camera's small LCD display, when at full-size, they are not.

Before/After Post-Processing. (Photo by an OTL Student)

4. Master post-processing. Add drama to your photos in post processing. Common techniques for improving sunset photography is cropping, reducing the exposure, and increasing the contrast and saturation.


5. Try something new! Experiment with light painting (shown above), where a long exposure captures flashlight movements. Although this image wasn't photographed during the golden hour, the same effect can be achieved using a different combination of manual settings and post-processing.

Leave a Comment