Sunset Photography

Sunset Photography Camera Settings for Beginners

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When we imagine a romantic scene, the end of an unforgettable trip, or a moment of relaxation with some friends, we all have the same scene in our mind: a sunset. Why do we love watching the sunset so much? Surely because of the tranquility that it transmits to us, the colors that are projected in front of our eyes, or the nuances that the elements that surround it give it, be it the sea, the clouds, or the vegetation. But have you ever tried to capture this moment with your camera? How difficult is it to get a good result? Do not worry! Today we give you the tips you need to take photos during the sunset and be able to remember that magical moment for the rest of your life. With these tips and tricks, you will know how to photograph sunsets in a very professional way.

Advance planning

Know the setting

Sometimes a photographic report about a sunset can appear spontaneously; for example, while we are watching the sunset on the beach of our vacation destination. However, the most recommended thing is to previously know the place from which we are going to take the images since to get a perfect snapshot, preparation is necessary. In this way, you can have all the material in advance, know which light is the one that predominates from that point, the influx or absence of tourists …

Exact time

Each day the sun sets and appears at a different time compared to the previous day, although it varies only one minute. To do this, you must know the exact time when you can make your report, especially if you are outside your usual city. For example, sunset takes place earlier in Valencia than in Galicia due to the many kilometers that separate them.


In this prior planning, it is also important to take into account the composition of the photographs to be taken. You can do it in two ways. The first consists of studying the sunset of the day before the report to see the type of light, the contrasts of colors, and the illuminated elements. Another option is to go to the stage first and, even if it is not getting dark yet, see those frames that interest you the most for your photographs (a tree on one side of the image, a beautiful building accompanying the scene, some rocks through which the sun will disappear, etc).

Necessary material

Depending on each way of working, you can choose one or other materials in your report on sunsets, but the basic elements would be: a reflex camera, a lens that you like to know how to handle, and a tripod. Later we will see that, to take a beautiful photograph of the sunset, it is preferable not to touch the camera at the time of capturing, so if you have a remote trigger it will be easier to take a perfect image. If you don’t have it, you can always use the camera’s own countdown function. Read on and learn how to shoot sunsets and get beautiful images.

Photo report

Importance of time

You must bear in mind that a sunset lasts less time than you think. When the sun begins to descend, although our eyes cannot appreciate it well, it takes very little time to completely hide. So to get the best photos you must have everything prepared at the right time and make the most of every minute.

Manual mode

How scary the manual mode of the camera is! Especially those who are just starting out and have not yet spent time getting to know this tool in depth. But, if you want to take spectacular photos, you will have to start to cope with this camera model. By modifying both the shooting speed, the aperture, or the white balance you will see that the results are different, so it is time to ‘play’ and see which combination you like best. To guide you a bit, later we will see the optimal settings to achieve a beautiful sunset.

Personal touch

Photographs of sunsets there are millions, so the best thing is that you can add your own personal touch. How to photograph unique sunsets? Capturing an element in the scene that you did not have (a couple walking hand in hand, a flock of birds crossing the plane, a boat crossing the image …) or adding an object or subject in the scene yourself.

What settings do I need?

As we mentioned before, the first thing you should do is put your camera in manual mode. Then eliminate forced or automatic flash, it is totally useless in this type of photography. One of the things you have to keep in mind is that the shutter speed must be slow; think that the lighting of the stage is going to be peculiar, so so that enough light enters and not take a dark image, you should set a speed of 1/10. But of course, this also makes it easier for the photo to come out blurred; To avoid this you should check if your camera has an image stabilizer or not.

In case not, don’t forget your tripod. If you are going to opt for the tripod but your camera does have the stabilizer function, disable it. In addition, we recommend that you use the timer with a few seconds or remote control. This way you will make sure that the pulse of your hand does not alter the image in the least. What approach should you use for a sunset? Generally, the automatic focus of the camera would suffice since there will be no moving elements. And finally, you will have to configure the white balance function. It is very simple, as it is a shaded stage, put it in the ‘shadow’ or ‘cloudy’ mode. But as we have said before, the idea is that you launch yourself to know the functions of your camera and go making different combinations in the settings to see which is the result that convinces you the most. We advise you to write down the different combinations you make to know which one you like the most and to be able to repeat it in the future or to improve the result.

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