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Photographing Sunsets

Some quick tips on photographing sunsets with a digital camera.

  • Turn off the white balance feature.
  • Let the sun get low to avoid damaging the CCD.
  • Turn off auto-focus; switch to landscape mode.
  • Turn around and look at the other images a sunset can produce.
  • Shoot even after the sun's gone down.
  • Use a tripod. Duh. Use a remote.
  • Include foreground elements.

Sounds like a plan. I hope to catch some late sunsets over my golf course this year as well.

4 Responses to "Photographing Sunsets"

  1. If you don't want to pack a full size tripod, the Sima ST-10K is tiny, cheap tripod that does the simple job of keeping your camera steady. You could easily throw it in your golf bag.

    If you don't have a remote, you can use the countdown timer to avoid physically shaking the camera when you close the shutter, but you may lose some control over your exposure.

    Don't be afraid to take a ton of shots when the sun is setting, you'd be amazed at how fast it drops when you're clicking off exposures. The lighting and angles of shadows changes quickly, so you can get entirely different views in a short period of time.

    Good luck with the new camera.

  2. If you don't have a remote use the timer.

  3. If you have an SLR, you should use the hyperfocal range. Hit google for a better description, but basically involves NOT focusing on infinity (as your camera would tend to do, or landscape mode tends to do), because then infinity is in focus, but you are "wasting" two thirds of your depth of field.

    You do this by focusing on about 1/3rd of the way to the horizon with a HIGH (stopped down) aperture such as f22 or higher. Looking through the viewfinder you won't see things in focus, but because a high aperture gives you a deeper depth of field (especially with a wide angle lens) things will be in focus.

    If you're lucky enough to have a prime lens with depth of field markings, you set the aperture to f22, and then move the focus ring so that the infinity mark is level with the 22... this is completely not understandable I realize, so here are a couple of links:

    http://www.vividlight.com/articles/2314.htm

    http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/hyperfocal-focusing.html

    http://www.conent.com/ConAdv/Encyclopaedia/Photography/CNQ_CAPhotography001.asp

    http://www.dofmaster.com/hyperfocal.html

    Of course, mostly these are tips for landscapes in general, but all applies to sunsets as well I'm sure.

  4. Apparently, many of the suggestions are crap.


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