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Old 20-03-2009, 13:30   #1 (permalink)
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Tips for great sunsets?

Hi

There's going to be a lovely sunset tonight, so I'm hoping to go to the top of a local hill to get some pictures.

I know much of this will be subjective but I'd love some tips 'cos I'm new to all this!

Should I go in quite tight with a zoom lens, or stay back with wide angle? Sun in the centre or offset? I have a sunset program on my A200 but if I wanted to go a bit more manual what sort of settings should I use? Small aperture to get max DOF? I don't have a tripod so have to be a bit careful about shutter speed I guess.

Also, I'd be grateful for a couple of tips for pp to get those lovely deep orange shades (I use CS2).

Thanks
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Old 20-03-2009, 16:24   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

Lens and compositions are all about what you're shooting and what you're after. I've used wide and telephoto for sunrises/sets but in the main, wide angle. Watch out for burned highlights (so probably need some exposure compensation). Whilst I'd have to say that a tripod is very nearly essential, try and find a wall or post to lean on - typical shutter speeds can be up to a second

At the end of the day (sorry, pun not intentional!) go out, grab some shots and have fun doing it!
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Old 20-03-2009, 17:20   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

I take quite a few looking over the Malvern Hills then put them in CS3 and using layers and blending multiply etc and fiddle Or you can Brkt some shots and then fiddle in CS3 blending mode multiply and play with opacity slider etc
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Old 20-03-2009, 23:26   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

It depends what you are shooting....if you are shooting from afar with nothing in the foreground in particualr then you don't need to worry about DOF. I personally recommend a wide lens with the sun off centered. Watch out that you don't point your camera straight at the sun as it can damage your camera PERMANENTLY. Bring a ND if you can it helps and take a few shots to see what shutter speed works well for what you want. Have fun
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Old 21-03-2009, 01:46   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

pictures of sunsets are a dime a dozen. Make yours unique by including something of interest in the foreground - if that means using a wide angle lens or zooming out - do so.
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Old 21-03-2009, 04:07   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

That is a matter of opinion nicpr. I understand ehat you are saying my friend but that is a personal thing.
For me, I like to have a foreground (beach, sand, drift wood etc), a mid ground (Rocks and Water) and a background (the rich colors of the sky and the sun) but I am not always big on having too much else in the foreground. If I was doing a silhouette that would be different, a child, a mom holding a young lad by the hand, a person splashing out from the water etc...but if I wanted pictures of sunsets, then for my personally I like to have pictures of sunsets and not have other things in the way. Yes sunrise and sunset pictures are a dime a dozen, but when I take those kind of pictures I do really for myself and not for other people.
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Old 21-03-2009, 10:04   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

Don't get so captured by the sunset that you forget to look around you. The rich warm tones of the setting sun often make otherwise ordinary subjects interesting.

The advice about not pointing the camera directly at the sun is good. It can also permanently damage your eyes, and these are way more precious than any camera.
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Old 21-03-2009, 11:46   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

Underexpose!

(Seriously.)
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Old 21-03-2009, 12:09   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

Thanks for the great replies, I really appreciate the advice. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get out in time to get the pictures but as it happens the sunset wasn't quite as good last night as I had hoped. I'm going to try again over the next few days. Unlikely I'll get there this evening as the rugby is on.
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Old 21-03-2009, 15:42   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

Don't give up so easily. Even on a BAD BAD day, the light in the sky just after the sunset can still be very very nice. I have to say though sometimes you have to cheat alittle in cases like that and bump the saturation up a little to make it look a little more dramatic. Wacth for spots in the skies where there are some colours, red, pink, purple, oranage anything and try to find a composition that might work. You never know, I mean the least that you can do with a shot like that is to use it as a powerpoint background or something.
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Old 22-03-2009, 12:47   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

Don't forget the rule of thirds. Very simple but quite effective. Put the setting sun on one of the 1/3 instersections. If the sky is more inrresting than the forground put the setting sun on a lower intersection to get more sky. If the forground is more interresting than the sky (unlikely) put the setting sun on the upper 1/3 intersection.

If you underexpose as Sujanus suggests you will get the forground as a silouette. Try to pick somthing that has an interresting shape (buildings trees etc).

Most importantly have fun.
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Old 23-03-2009, 11:54   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

Thanks.

Dookie, you're right, I shouldn't give up easily, but missing the sunset the other evening was more down to a catastrophic miscalculation on my part as to what time the sun goes down

Steve, thanks for the tips, and you are absolutely right, the most important thing is to have fun.
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Old 23-03-2009, 15:51   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

Under expose = meter for the sky. If you meter for the sky then the rest of your picture, foreground and such, will become silouette - (tho some minor minor tweaking might be required in PS sometimes)
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Old 24-03-2009, 17:19   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

I like to let the sun drop right under the edge of the horizon and shoot with my 50mm f1.4 wide open. Or if there is something in the foreground I move it in front of the sun if I can,,,no biggy,,have fun. "The sun will come up tomorrow"
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Old 25-03-2009, 00:04   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

Thanks Boofers. TBH, the hill I'm hoping to go up is a beautiful walk anyway, getting some photos from there would just be an added bonus. I was going to try again this evening, but couldn't pursuade my six year old son to walk up a 1200 foot hill after a hard day at school for love nor money. The clocks go back this weekend, so I might stand more chance next week.
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Old 25-03-2009, 03:03   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for great sunsets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sejanus View Post
Underexpose!

(Seriously.)
+1
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