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Tips and Techniques on Capturing Great Sunset Photo – A Beginners Guide to Photography

Updated on October 23, 2012
Sunset at the Manila Bay in Pasay City, Philippines
Sunset at the Manila Bay in Pasay City, Philippines | Source

Sunset as a subject in photography

There are a lot of subject to capture when you do photography. Sunset is one of the most popular of them. Taking photos of the sun setting down and making its way to rest is a very dramatic scene. Capturing these moments is priceless and will only happen ones. In a tropical country like the Philippines sunset is often seen by everyone and it always amazes anyone who can see it setting in the horizon.

I decided to give you some tips and techniques for you to capture a sunset. There are a lot of tutorial around there but I will try my very best to give you all the knowledge I know in order to get a descent photo of a sunset. There are a lot of ways to capture a sunset, you can use either a camera phone, a digital camera or if you want to produce a high quality image you can you a DSLR. My personal choice is the DSLR since its more powerful tool if you want to get a great photo of a sunset.

Sunset with silhouette of boy and girl.
Sunset with silhouette of boy and girl. | Source

Tools and Preparation

Before going out and start chasing the sun before it sets out you should first consider some of the following. You need helpful tools for you to be able to shoot a sunset easier.

· DSLR – this is your primary tool to capture a sunset.

· Tripod – it will be used as your stable stand, especially if your hands are too shaky.

· Extra lens – if you want to get a closer shot then you need a wider range of a lens.

Now that you have your tools it’s time to prepare, you need to have a bag to carry all your equipment. Since the sun is still out you should bring a sunblock with you so that you will not be burnt by the sun. It’s also advisable to wear clothes that are long enough to cover your body, which is if you have any skin irritation brought by long exposure to the sun.

Sunset in San Juan, La Union, Philippines
Sunset in San Juan, La Union, Philippines | Source
Sunset at San Juan, La Union
Sunset at San Juan, La Union | Source

Let’s Get Start Shooting!

So you’re all good to go but where is the best place to shoot a sunset? Sunset shooting depends on where are you. You can always take a photo of sunset wherever but to make the photo more dramatic there are great places for you to capture it. One of the best places is beside the beach; nothing beats the scene of the sun setting on the oceans horizon. So let’s proceed on the tips and techniques that I used to do when I capture a sunset.

1. Find the best spot that you can find, before taking a photo compose it first. Look around you and see if you can find some other elements that you can add to your photo. It adds more drama.

2. In composing your photo you should always put in mind the basic rule in photography. The Rule of Thirds, this basically means that you imagine what you see then slice it to 3x3 squares and put your main subject to any of those squares.

3. Put your tripod in place and make sure that it’s steady enough or will not fall down to avoid any damage to your camera.

4. The best time to start shooting is when the sun is 3’oclock angle until it totally sets.

5. When the sun starts to touch the sea horizon expect that it will set faster than what you think, so don’t waste time and take that photo.

6. For the settings of the camera since you are capturing under a bright area you should set you ISO to 100, put your aperture to f/6.3, f/7.1, f/8, f/9, f/10 and the shutter speed to 1/250 or higher.

7. As sun sets the place will start to dark so make necessary adjustments on the ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed.

8. This three come hand-in-hand when you adjust it. So that’s it! Happy Shooting!

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    • prea profile image

      prea 4 years ago from Philippines

      Very useful tips. I was also recommended that good photography is making sure you got the best angle in capturing light.

    • afmolinajr profile image

      Alejandro Molina 5 years ago from Metro Manila, Philippines

      thank you so much for that very nice comment.

    • Deepak Chaturvedi profile image

      Deepak Chaturvedi 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great tips for taking photo of the sunset.Awesome photos.Thanks.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      great hub.. My daughter in law is very good at photography your photos are amazing..

      sharing this hub

      welcome to the hub..


    • afmolinajr profile image

      Alejandro Molina 5 years ago from Metro Manila, Philippines

      sunset is really a great subject in photography. there are a lot of affordable dslr in the market now you should get one and start taking photos. i will be looking forward on those photos anytime soon. :) cheers!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      The sunset photo is amazing. I do not have a camera with this capability at the time, but I see that having one in the near future would increase my enjoyment of writing and the reader's. Thank you for the lesson.

    • afmolinajr profile image

      Alejandro Molina 5 years ago from Metro Manila, Philippines

      thank you so much! I hope it will be a great help!

    • Kimberly Vaughn profile image

      Kimberly Vaughn 5 years ago from Midwest

      Great hub! I can't wait to try some of your tips!