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Our Top Tips for Sunset Photography for Beginners

Updated: Jan 31


Photo credit: Anne Morley


Sunsets can be a fantastic opportunity to produce stunning images. No matter whether you're photographing an individual or a landscape, the lighting at sunset and the colours in the sky can have a great effect on any photo.



Photo credit: Rohan Mott


To optimise your sunset shots, plan ahead. Sunsets don't last forever and the lighting and colours can change very rapidly so it's best to know where you're going and what you're doing well before the sunset begins. Scope out your location and pick your subject and what elements you would like to include in your photos well ahead of the shoot. Try to find somewhere the sun can be followed all the way down to the horizon to maximise your photo opportunities. Remember to find out when the sunset will be happening on the evening of the shoot and set up at least half an hour early to avoid missing the start of golden hour. Keep an eye on the weather but don't be scared off by a few clouds or a bit of dust or fog! These conditions can all have their own interesting effects.



Photo credit: James Smart


Try shooting a variety of focal lengths and exposures. A wide angle lens (a short focal length) will produce sweeping shots of the whole scene whereas a longer focal length will allow you to focus in on your subject. In general, underexposing can be better at sunset to help the colours pop but if you take photos at a variety of different exposures you may find certain elements may be clearer with increased exposure and you can layer photos with different levels of exposure during editing to optimise the appearance of all the elements in your final image. To guide your exposure experimentation, you may want to try a technique called bracketing. Take a photo at your camera's recommended exposure, one slightly overexposed and one slightly underexposed. This ensures you have at least one photo that will have an optimal level of brightness.



Photo credit: Robert Armitage


Stay late to capture a whole other set of colours after the sun dips below the horizon. Some of these can often be just as beautiful as the sunset itself!



Photo credit: Joel Bramley


Lake Tyrrell is a great location for sunset photos. The open spaces allow you to view the whole sunset from start to finish and the reflections on a still evening can be absolutely breathtaking! Head to www.skymirror.com.au to book your trip today!

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