You never know when the most amazing light is going to appear. Remember that it usually happens in a two-minute time window. Your sense of timing can make all the difference when you want to take stunning sunsets photo. Are you going to plan an unforgettable trip to Italy? Maybe visiting the astonishing island of Sardinia? Or maybe you are just going to go to a tiny beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea…?

Let us teach you our tips for sunset photography!

What do you want to see in your photo?

This is the crucial point: do you want to see the sun in the picture or see its effect in the picture? We think the most vivid colors usually appear when the sun has gone down. First of all, there are two basic pieces of info you need to know:

  • It’s better you use a tripod.
  • You have to know sunrise/sunset times.
  • Set ISO at lowest possible settings.
how to take stunning sunsets, dragonfly tours

Here we chose to shot after the sun was down. Notice the difference between the pictures due to exposure times. We did it with a smartphone and used a table as a tripod.

We did not know what time sunset was, but we stared at the sun until it went down. Patience is a good friend during this process because in the evening the best colors appeared after we took several photos, we were rewarded with a beautiful shot!

As you can see we played with the settings trying to find the best mix. The other pics are all different from the ones shown.

Don’t forget, the sun is the main character for your sceneEveryone loves taking picture of this beautiful moment in time. So, your objective should be to make it “shine” or, simply, make it special.

Let’s see some composition tips to make your sun shot the best shining sunset ever.

Hide the sun, play with it

You can make the sun special by hiding it! Play with reflections, panorama, silhouettes. Cover it totally or partially and use shadows, shades and reflecting light! Adding interest by incorporating a subject is a great tip. Look at this pictures: the jetty, the animals, the girl. They integrate the work. They are fundamental elements. Obviously, if you opt for an interesting perspective…it’s a done deal!

horses and sunset, hot to take stunning sunsets, dragonfly tour

  • Remember the rule of thirds. You can always break this rule, but it’s a good idea to place the horizon, sun or silhouettes off center.
  • Vary focal lengths. Zoom in and out, take all the photo you need. A landscape shot is different from a close-up.

Don’t fear the weather (in order to take stunning sunsets)

Is it cloudy or raining? Do not fear the weather! You can use this to your advantage!

how to take stunning sunsets, dragonfly tours

The sun will appear unique and different from the usual pictures. Afternoon clouds will indicate the sunset’s photo opportunity potential. Also dust or smoke in the air can produce a fantastic play of light. Check your histogram and shoot raw and pay attention to our next two tips, always valid and not only if it’s cloudy:

  • General rules: is sun still in the sky? Choose aperture priority. If sun is already set, then use manual exposure.
  • Keep Shooting. Yes. And keep experimenting. Why you did not use that flash! Take stunning sunsets!

Latest Very Important Photographies hints

  • Don’t set Auto-White balance mode. You run the risk of losing colors and tones.
  • If you have trouble focusing (some cameras can do it in extreme lights condition), choose manual focus.
  • Look around, maybe the best shot is on the other side!

how to take stunning sunsets, dragonfly tours

Other resources:

Techradar – Sunset photography: how to balance exposures and get accurate colours