Since no trip album is complete without that classic sunset shot, it’s a good idea to take one on your camping trip. Plus, a photograph lets you share the beauty of nature and your campground with everyone who stayed at home. While we can’t all be professional photographers, we can try and fake it. Here are some simple things to think about when you’re preparing for a sunset photograph.
It’s important to know when the sun is going to set. If you’re in the woods, you may not have access to this information, but here’s a trick to estimate it. Try to get to the site where you plan to take pictures an hour before the sun will set. This allows enough time to choose a good spot from which to shoot, set up the camera and inspect the surroundings.
Extreme lighting conditions can cause your camera to not be able to focus. This leaves you with a blurry picture. Switching from autofocus to manual focus should fix this. If you do switch to manual, lock the focus on infinity distance.
If you only have one night of your camping trip to dedicate to an hour-long sunset photo shoot, choose wisely. An evening with cloudy skies or smoke will make the best sunsets. Since you’ve probably checked the weather before your camping trip, you’ll know which night will give the best hazy additions to your sunset photos.
Good sunset photos have something in them besides just the sun. A good point of interest could be anything from a tree to a mountain range. The backlight from the sunset will create an interesting silhouette to your sunset.
Playing with the picture’s exposure can allow you to capture the subtleties of light best. If your camera is a point-and-shoot, select a scene selection mode that highlights the foreground and ignores the background. This will overexpose your focal points, while the sunset stays underexposed.
Take lots of pictures!
Sunsets change incredibly quickly and every moment is subtly different. Keep taking photos throughout the sunset. Test out different exposures and foreground objects.