How to Capture the Perfect Sunset

January 13, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | 17 Comments | |
How to Capture the Perfect Sunset Image

There are several ways that you can capture the perfect sunset photo.

This article includes technical tips for setting your camera, framing the shot, and other key considerations.

It also inncludes pointers on replicating the magic of the real thing in photographic form.

Technical tips

1. Check your camera settings

Before you even begin setting up your camera, check your camera's options.

If you will be traveling to a location that you've already pre-chosen, you can do this before you leave home.

This will save you time when you get to the spot.

You ideally want your aperture and shutter speed to be slightly lower than they would be for other forms of photography.

How to Capture the Perfect Sunset

2. Take extra camera equipment

This includes extra batteries, of course, but you also want to take both a wide-angle lens and a standard zoom lens. Once you get to your photographic location and start setting up, you may decide that one lens will work better than the other, and since you brought them both, you'll be able to swap them out.

You should always take a tripod. A tripod can help with keeping the camera steady, something that may be important if you were able to manually adjust your speed settings. Also, because you are going to be taking many pictures, a tripod will prevent your arms from tiring.

How to Capture the Perfect Sunset

3. Preparing to take the picture

Your camera is ready, you've loaded all your equipment (if you're traveling), and arrived at your location. Or, if you are taking the shot from your home, you've assembled all your equipment in the area where you will be taking the picture, and you're actually ready to take the picture.

Entry Tags

camera, photo, image, how to, digital, photograph, tips, picture, settings, sunrise, sunset

Tracker Pixel for Entry

Your Comments

17 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Teddy

This is a nice article, but doesn’t really tell much. I shoot a lot of sunsets and getting it right, like every foto is key. There is no mention about settings, metering etc. Depending on the position of the sun, metering above the horizon, or below will determine how the shot looks like.

5:19 pm - Thursday, January 13, 2011

#2 Photo Restoration Services

I think this post is a nice starting point for the amateur photographer.  It is nice to see because most tips are too advanced for the beginner.

11:36 pm - Thursday, January 13, 2011

#3 walteristic

Not much of an info on how to capture a good sunset.. merely tips which are kind of practical.

12:07 am - Friday, January 14, 2011

#4 sam

this is useless

2:55 am - Friday, January 14, 2011

#5 Rod

This is all just common sense.

5:06 am - Friday, January 14, 2011

#6 Chastidyi Parrott

This article has some very interesting tips for someone just starting out.

4:14 am - Saturday, January 15, 2011

#7 Martin

Er, this article is useless, its all common sense, and should not be posted even on an amateur photography site.

If this is also the technical quality of the reviews on i would advise to give their site a miss,

Admin why would you post this ?

6:16 pm - Tuesday, January 18, 2011

#8 mane

Focus? White balance? Metering? Priority? Compensation? Contrast? Post processing? HDR?

9:40 pm - Tuesday, January 18, 2011

#9 Christian

This article is amazingly useless. Not a trace of information. “You have arrived at your location, your camera is ready, so you are ready to take your picture” - is this meant to be a joke?

5:33 pm - Wednesday, January 19, 2011

#10 lui

1. take the spot early
2. take a lot of photos
3. ???
have you forgotten to write the rest of the article?

1:48 pm - Friday, January 28, 2011

#11 Yash

Be sure to click on “next page” to read more about this!!

8:40 pm - Tuesday, February 8, 2011

#12 Zain

Could you also enlighten us on what shutter speed and aperture would be the most apt.

1:13 pm - Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#13 Blacbook

Perfectly useless…too useless for amateur and no use for beginners. No details and no specifications. i.e. take a lot of pictures, its obvious for the digital age @author noone leaves unless the bucket is full.

11:55 am - Wednesday, March 30, 2011

#14 Wedding photographer kent

I think this is a good starting point for a beginner or someone wanting to try different areas of photography.
I mainly shoot weddings and events.. so articles like these give me a starting point.

Every sunset is different so there won’t be a standard camera setting!

8:52 pm - Friday, November 11, 2011

#15 Wedding photography Essex

Some very good basic info here, excellent starting point for sunset photo’s. It’s very easy then to just adjust for varying circumstances / locations.

10:16 pm - Sunday, November 11, 2012

#16 Microstock photographs

These are really informative tips , very useful .A tripod is essential for sunset photography as small apertures can mean longer exposure times and hand-holding the shot can result in shake.

6:16 am - Monday, March 31, 2014

#17 Clipping Path

What a charming sunset photo shot.Really eye-catching to looking.

5:06 pm - Friday, November 6, 2015