— Marc Newton




About This Course

Sunset photography can be challenging to get right, as capturing the perfect exposure can be tricky. Often, you may find that the sky appears too bright while the ground is too dark, resulting in an imbalanced image. However, professional photographers have techniques to achieve flawless exposures in their sunset photos. In this guide, I will provide you with four valuable tips to ensure that you expose your sunset photographs correctly, allowing you to capture stunning images every time.

Use Graduated Neutral Density Filters: Graduated neutral density (ND) filters are essential tools for sunset photography. These filters feature a gradient that darkens the upper portion of the image, helping to balance the exposure between the bright sky and the darker foreground. By positioning the filter over the sky, you can achieve a more even exposure, capturing the vibrant colors of the sunset while retaining the details in the foreground.
Bracket Your Exposures: Bracketing your exposures involves capturing multiple shots at different exposure settings. This technique ensures that you have a range of exposures to choose from, allowing you to select the one that best captures the scene's dynamic range. Start by metering for the sky to avoid overexposure, and then take additional shots at slightly underexposed and overexposed settings. Later, during post-processing, you can blend these exposures or use HDR techniques to create a well-balanced image with details in both the sky and the ground.
Utilize Manual Mode: Shooting in manual mode provides you with full control over your camera's settings. When photographing sunsets, switch to manual mode and adjust your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to achieve the desired exposure. Start by setting a small aperture (higher f-number) to increase the depth of field, allowing both the foreground and the sky to remain in focus. Next, choose an appropriate shutter speed to capture the motion of the clouds or water if present. Finally, adjust the ISO to control the camera's sensitivity to light and ensure a well-exposed image.
Shoot in RAW Format: To have maximum flexibility in post-processing, always shoot in RAW format. RAW files contain uncompressed image data and provide greater latitude for adjusting exposure, white balance, and other settings during post-production. This allows you to recover details in the highlights and shadows, ensuring that you capture the full dynamic range of the sunset scene.
By implementing these four tips, you will be well-equipped to capture perfectly exposed sunset photographs. Remember to experiment with different techniques, compositions, and angles to create unique and compelling images. With practice and a keen eye for lighting and composition, you can elevate your sunset photography skills and capture breathtaking moments during golden hour.

Acquired Knowledge

Adjusting your camera settings for sunset shots, how to take better photos, retouching your photos


Marc Newton
At TSoP we deliver high-quality photography courses online, in person, in books and are a leading provider of photography education to schools and colleges in the UK. I’m Marc Newton and I run the team here. I’m a photographer, educational speaker, author and teacher of photography. Teaching Photography has been my passion for many years. I got my first paid photography job in 1997 whilst doing my photography degree, but in 2002 I decided to give teaching a go and I haven’t looked back since. I loved seeing the stunning imagery my students produced. I found the process of teaching filled me with a real sense of joy, and it still does today.


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