Photographing Sunset Tips & Tutorial

Sunsets can make some of the most beautiful photographs, but can easily fall flat if you don’t have your camera in the right settings.

Here are a few tips that will help you create better sunset photographs.

Shot wide- Don’t zoom in when taking sunset photographs, shot as wide as your lens will let you.

Shot in HDR – Is perfect for sunset and it creates greater contrast in your images.

Under exposure – Just slightly underexposing will make the colors look more rich and defined.

Don’t forget about the foreground – Spend time thinking about the foreground, don’t just think about the sunset, think about the image as a whole.

NO FILTERS – Not even a UV filter, for sunsets it is best to go filter free to create the best images possible.

Horizon – Don’t shot with the horizon right in the middle of the photo, try to get it about 2/3rds way down the image.

Look around you – Don’t be so focused that you are blind to the rest of the surroundings, look around to see what other angles and directions you could shot from.

Manual Mode – This is the best to shot in once the light has started to fade from the sky, when the sun is still out shooting in Aperature priority.

Don’t just shot and leave, stay around a little, the sky might look even better in half hours time.

Post Processing – this is so important with sunset photographs as it gets the photograph looking its absolute best, check out the tutorial below to see how quick and easy it is to do in Smart Photo Editor.

sunset image 1

Open up your image in Smart Photo Editor.
sunset image 2

Click the Effects Gallery button on the top right hand side.sunset image 3

Choose the Effect called Darken & improve contrast.
sunset image 4

Once you have clicked on it, your image with the effect applied will appear bigger with some slider on the left hand side.

Move the Master slider to get the effect just right for your image. This first step will help to correct the sky.

Click OK once you are happy.sunset image 5

The next step is to go to the Effects Gallery button again and this time narrow down your search on the left hand side Detail> Depth of Field.

sunset image 6

The effect I chose is Depth of Field but you can pick a different one if you think it will work better with your photograph. Once again click your chosen one and adjust the sliders to suit your needs. sunset image 7

Click the Effects Gallery button again. sunset image 8

Narrow down the search again on the right by choosing Light>HDR and pick the effect that goes best, the one I selected is called Hdri. sunset image 9

Click OK once you have adjusted the sliders.sunset image 10

Once again click the Effects Gallery button, this time type in the search bar on the right, ‘fix exposure’ for the effect.sunset image 11

For this effect I have the Master Slider very low down.

This is the end result, looking at the before and after you can see the massive improvement to the photograph, simply by adding four effects/image corrects to the image in Smart Photo Editor.

before and after

Click the image above the see the before and after in more detail.

Download a free trial of Smart Photo Editor now to see how much you can improve your sunset images.