Creating Amazing Sunsets!


Waikiki Hawai’i

Sunsets: Travel Photography—Last week we talked about creating great images in bad light. We will continue this theme this week and discuss how to capture those beautiful sunsets. Sunsets are perennial favorite subjects for many photographers and travelers. Unfortunately they are not the easiest or most cooperative things to capture the way you want. The problem has to do with the way you meter interprets light. Your meter, on the auto modes or in manual mode, understands midtone gray. Well, sunsets occur when the sky has a darker light value than midtone gray. You meter compensates by allowing more light in the camera and effectively overexposing the scene and giving you a bland bright sunset. The key is to override the meter and UNDEREXPOSE what the meter says or let less light in the camera than the meter wants. Now you have your rich, dark sunset tones the YOU want!

Sunsets can be great on there own, but they can also provide excellent backgrounds for silhouettes. You can use any thing to create your silhouette.

Zambales Philippines

Beach props,

Manila Philippines

Waikiki Hawai’i

light fixtures,

Aloha Tower, Honolulu Hawai’i

iconic buildings,

Kaua’i Hawai’i—and yes Nikki is wearing a swimsuit!

and even people can become fascinating design elements to your image.

Camera: iPhone 4S. Exposure f2.4, 1/60th of a second, ISO 64 (underexposed in postproduction, but the newer phone cameras allow you to adjust the exposure “in camera”), Canon T2i. Exposure f5.6, 1/40th of a second, ISO 400. Canon T2i, Exposure f14, 1/60th of a second, ISO 400, Nikon D70. Exposure f7.1, 1/500th of a second, ISO unrecorded. Nikon D70. Exposure f4.2, 1/60th of a second, ISO 200. Olympus E20. Exposure f7.1, 1/250th of a second, ISO 80 (slight highlights added in postproduction).