Hello and welcome back! A few weeks ago I started posting photography tips (Taking Pictures of Kids, and Getting Better Action Shots). I didn’t start writing these post because I am any sort of expert photographer. Quite the opposite. I am an untrained mom who wants to get the most out of her camera and her kids’ cuteness! therefore, these posts are meant to impart what I have learned and hopefully lead to a discussion that will help us all get better pictures of our kids.
And so, today I have another photo tips post for you–look specifically at taking sunset pictures.
Sunset pictures are tricky. But, with these tips you are sure to get better pictures at this beautiful time of day…and all of the pictures included in this post were taken in a simple point and shoot camera. Soooo, you don’t need anything special to get these super special shots. Here are some tips I came up with:
1–Pick a Strong Subject–
I am a strong believer that pictures need to be of people that I love. Landscape photographers would disagree with me, but I started taking pictures seriously when I had kids, so I am a people photographer. In my opinion, a great sunset picture has to have people in it–or at least something to stand out in silhouette against the beautiful setting sun.
2–Turn off Your Flash–
This is super important and pretty easy to do on most cameras. You need to stop the flash because it will cast too much light on your subject and kill all silhouettes.
3–Get the Right Light: Back Lighting–
Remember all those basic lighting rules, about needing light from the front? Well, for sunset pictures, forget them! The photographer needs to face the sun and allow the subject’s side away from you to be fully lit. This will, once again, help create the silhouette effect.
4–Get a Large Depth of Field–
Fancy cameras allow you to play with things like aperture and depth of field. A point and shoot, generally, does not. For this reason, a point and shoot is perfect for taking sunset pictures. You want everything to be in focus, not just your subject, but in front of and behind your subject.
5–Separate your Subject from the Background–
The picture below is a picture of what not to do. The sky is so pretty in this picture, but my subject, my brother-in-law and son on a four-wheeler does not stand out. Instead they blend into the lush background. It is much better to find a way to take a sunset picture with your subject framed against the clouds. When possible find a way to put your subject up on the horizon.
6–Tell your Camera Where to Focus–
As I already said, you want a large depth of field, but for certain sunset pictures it is important to tell your camera where to focus, especially when you have several subjects. In the picture below I focused on my dad holding my daughter. Although I did focus here, I was helped out quite a bit by the light which is falling so nicely on my subject, naturally pulling your eye there.
I hope this has inspired you to head out with your camera and capture the sunset tonight. If you get any good shots I’d love to see them!