Evening and Sunset Photography Hints and Tips

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Evening and Sunset Photography Hints and Tips

A sunset, one of many in this article

The only thing to remember is that the sun magnified through a lens could damage your eyes! So be careful! Better still, use the digital screen not the cameras eyepiece.

Sunsets can also give you some excellent opportunities to take photos of the moon. A plain sky and a hint of clouds in the sky: clouds often produce the most amazing colours when lit by a setting sun.

It is hard to take a very striking moon shot. A full moon is often hazy even a crescent moon will have a slight halo. To avoid haze, don't zoom in too close: leave room and dress the shot with trees buildings or clouds to balance the picture.

With a coloured sky try using it as an out-of-focus background for trees or buildings. Do not be afraid to get in close a wide horizon is very alluring This is excellent if the clouds have layers of colour from the setting sun. There is an almost limitless amount of colour and contrast to experiment with, as wide as your imagination.

A wide horizon shot is the favourite ,but remember there is the added difficulty that there is often a huge variation of light levels! The best results are achieved if you expose for the light areas. There is a lot of colour in the lighter parts of a digital image1 that bleaches if you are not careful. I like dramatic dark clouds but you can always recover the details in the dark areas in a digital darkroom.

If you overexpose the lighter areas, you will bleach and remove detail from them. Even the overhead wires in the overexposed shot have dispersed, and the image lacks drama and is of little interest apart from being a 'how not to' example, as is the last shot.

The setting sun is often far too bright: the detail around the sun has been bleached away and no amount of editing can recover detail from a bleached area. There is flare around the overexposed area, and there are red and pink patches reflected onto other areas. Not good at all.
There are filters that could have helped the last shot, but sunsets are transitory and there is not much time to fiddle with filters.

Hope this helps, and have fun with your camera.

A sunset, one of many in this articleA sunset, one of many in this article
A sunset, one of many in this articleA sunset, one of many in this article

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1 Much more detail can be salvaged from the darker areas of digital images.

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