Five Tips to Mastering Sunset Photography

Capture great images of sunsets and master the art with these tips!

Anyone can marvel at exquisite sunsets that are worth taking photos of. There’s no better way to do this than going outside with your camera and waiting for the sun to set. But it isn’t really as simple as taking snaps of the sunset, and then, getting your shot out there—hoping that you’ve captured one of the best sunsets in the world. It also requires an ample amount of skills to produce exquisite sunset images.

sunset photography


If you like taking pictures of sunsets, how do you photograph them? Here are a few sunset photography tips that you can use!

  1. Set the right white balance

Most DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and even humble point-and-shoot devices have the option for you to modify the white balance. The best white balance setting to use, of course, is the outdoor option, ideal for nature photography. It brings out vivid colors, using natural light to bring out the best in your subjects. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with the settings. You can get great results by using other white balance options as well. Experimenting can give you marvelous photographs!

  1. Underexpose your photo

Natural light coming from the setting sun needs to be emphasized. This means you need to darken the foreground that’s placed against the sunset. This gives more focus on the sunset’s colors, allowing you to produce great photos that concentrates on the sun, instead of the other things surrounding your subject in itself. You don’t need to brighten the sunset, after all, since it’s the source of light.

  1. Take advantage of silhouettes

When you underexpose your photos, you can also create great silhouettes that consist of the foreground. Contrasting is important in this case, and you can achieve proper contrast when post-processing, in case you’re having trouble doing so while taking your photo. However, you can still achieve great contrast and silhouettes by adjusting the exposure or aperture photo settings.

  1. Set your ISO to low

You’re not capturing a fast-moving subject. You can always take time to relax and slow down. You don’t need to set the ISO settings too high, as high ISO can affect image quality negatively. You’ll capture clearer photos at 100 ISO, with sufficient aperture settings and shutter speed. You don’t need to worry about the sun being in motion, because low ISO still gets you the best results.

  1. Shoot in RAW

Whenever your camera renders photos in JPEG, it often compresses them, affecting their image quality. That’s why most photographers prefer shooting in RAW format. The file size may be larger, but the image quality is far better than compressed JPEG photos. If you want to convert RAW photos to JPEG, it’s better to use post-processing software such as Adobe Lightroom, which gives you the option to render and compress your images with better clarity.

beach sunset


Bonus tip:

  • Go manual

Shooting in automatic is fine, if it still gets you great photos. But practice shooting in manual and you can experiment with taking photographs that stand out. It can give you great balance in photography: you can adjust focus, lens settings, shutter speed, and other things whenever you set your settings to manual. Shooting in manual gives you great control over your photos, allowing you to capture more beautiful pictures of sunsets.


Capturing great photos of sunsets take time. If you’re determined to improve your sunset photography skills and take better photos, then you need to practice more. However, with the right tools, tips, and photography ideas, you’ll produce vivid images in no time!




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