Sunrise, sunset and Getting the Shot

Joe Farace Photography

Joe Farace PhotographyGuest post by Joe Farace

Nothing says sunset like a photograph of the sun setting slowing in the West, and this image of the beach at Acapulco benefited from using the Leica D-Lux’s Sunset scene mode. The camera automatically determined exposure was 1/500 sec at f/4 and ISO 80.

Sunsets and sunrises are notoriously difficult to shoot because you have lots of dark areas and a brilliant light source within the frame. One of the easiest (maybe the easiest) ways of handling this kind of tricky shot is by using your camera’s Sunset Scene Mode if it has one. Using this mode sets up the camera to deal with these unique circumstances and produces the beautiful color that you actually see but can be difficult to capture in a photograph.

If your camera doesn’t have a Sunset mode you can always use the time-honored custom of bracketing. Pianists practice their scales; photographers need to practice exposure. Sometime the best solution is to shoot a series of exposures of your subject varying exposures from what would normally be considered underexposure to overexposure. Some cameras even offer an automatic bracket option. Consult your camera manual for details on how the automatic bracketing feature works on you specific camera.

Tip: Depending on how large this example photo looks on your screen, you may be able to see the ant-like people (as silhouettes) walking on the beach, but it’s always a good idea to have some foreground interest in sunset scenes such as this one.

Visit Joe Farace at his blog “Saving the World, One Pixel at a Time” (