Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tips On Photographing Sunset Photos And Setting Up Your Shutter Speed.

The beauty of sunset is a nature’s wonder that is an attraction to many photographers. With the reddish sky and multi colored clouds, it is like a painting, and only a few minute to enjoy it.

To shoot a sunset photo is not hard. The most important factor is the weather itself. Is the sunset happening, without rain clouds or haze to dampen it as you set up your equipment? If it is okay, then your work will be an easy one. The tips I am providing below will be suitable for dslr, compact and  creative compact cameras. The only accessory you will need is the Circular Polarizing Filter to rid of glares from the sun. Let us start by reviewing the exif data of the photo above.
  •  Camera: Canon EOS 300D
  •  Aperture: F5.6
  •  ISO: 125
  •  Shutter Speed: 1/200 s
  •  Zoom: 150mm
  •  Metering Mode: Evaluative
  •  White Balance: Auto

For the photo above, I am using the “Full Auto” setting as I was in a rush. The camera’s exposure was basically the same if I wanted to set it manually. The reading was also already accurate by judging the quality of the photo and reading the histogram. Nothing to worry about the camera’s auto exposure reading as a sunset’s lighting is balanced.

To get a big sun in your photo (right), you will need a zoom lens, at least with the reach of 200mm or more. Let the sun be in the middle of your viewfinder and zoom it in until it’s bigger. Just avoid looking directly at the sun for too long.

To ensure that your image is sharp and not blurry from handshake, you have to use the right shutter speed in accordance with your zoom magnification. The formula that I use is 1mm = 1/1 second. If your zoom magnification is 150mm, it means 1 second x 150mm = 1/150 second. This is the minimum shutter speed required to overcome handshake blurriness. For the above photo, I am using a shutter speed of 1/200s, more than enough to overcome the problem.You can use this formula for shooting photos of sports, birding and others. But if you are using a tripod, you do not need this formula.

If your image is too bright or dark, rectify it using the the AE bracketing compensation (the + / - button). Add the value to brighten or lower the value to darken.

 Exif data:
  •      Canon EOS 300D
  •     Aperture: 6.3
  •     ISO: 100
  •     Zoom: 140mm
  •     Metering: Evaluative
  •     White Balance: Auto
  •     Shutter speed: 1/200 s

The tips above can be applied to compact and creative compact cameras. For creative compact, you can set the aperture between F2.8 and F5.6, and use AE bracketing to rectify the exposure as needed.


  1. Beautiful photos! I very rarely see the sunset at my house because we are in the woods, but when we are in Mexico I try to see every day!

  2. What beautiful photos! The sunset looks so warm and romantic that I can feel the heat from here. Some day I am going to get a real camera so I can learn to take beautiful photographs. You've got such skill. I'm jealous! *grin

  3. Great photos. Now just have to go somewhere where there is a sunset like these.

  4. I really appreciate these tips. I have about 100 sunset pics, and always want tips on creating more!
    thank you so much for this wonderful blog!

  5. Mary Hudak-CollinsApril 13, 2012 at 7:19 AM

    Wonderful picture-taking tips. Thanks for sharing ☺

  6. Hello.
    I am not a photographer, but I can appreciate great photography. I love sunsets & sunrises...must be the romantic in me. These shots are just WoW! Great job. Thanks for sharing.

    Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn...

  7. Thanks for sharing this, quite technical for a newbie photographer but worth it to learn how to take good sunset pictures. We have beautiful sunsets in the Philippines and it is my favorite time also. Thanks again for sharing.

    Best regards,

  8. I have not tried to shoot a sunset with a digital camera so I found your tips to be very useful. I really liked the sutter speed formula. I have noticed that DSLRs are not as susceptible to shake as film SLRs. I will remember this for the next time I get the chance.

  9. Those pictures look very nice. WOW. I live in Miami and take beautiful Sunrise pictures so check out my pics here.
    Great Job

  10. SyedAlfandiSyedMansorApril 17, 2012 at 6:05 AM

    Thank you Ann..that will be fun too..

  11. SyedAlfandiSyedMansorApril 17, 2012 at 6:06 AM

    Thank you Leah..for sunset, any camera will do nowadays..

  12. SyedAlfandiSyedMansorApril 17, 2012 at 6:09 AM

    Thank you are already living in a land of beautiful should be easy..

  13. SyedAlfandiSyedMansorApril 17, 2012 at 6:11 AM

    Thank you..I really appreciate your stopping by..

  14. SyedAlfandiSyedMansorApril 17, 2012 at 6:11 AM

    Thank you Mary..

  15. SyedAlfandiSyedMansorApril 17, 2012 at 6:13 AM

    Thank you have the poet's perspective of the images anyway..that is your gift..

  16. SyedAlfandiSyedMansorApril 17, 2012 at 6:14 AM

    Thank you Mary..hope these simple tips will help you out..

  17. SyedAlfandiSyedMansorApril 17, 2012 at 6:18 AM

    The dslr lens are shorter and lighter is easier for hand holding compared to glass in metal casing of the past film days..thanks for stopping by Paul..

  18. SyedAlfandiSyedMansorApril 17, 2012 at 6:22 AM

    I just checked your blog..they are gorgeous and it's unbelievable that you can blog on sunrise topics thanks for the visit anyway..

  19. Thank you very much for checking the site. I love sunrises and some of the most beautiful pictures I have seen online are those of sunrises or sunsets. I will keep adding pictures and updating the site. Thanks for your tips.