7 Tips for Better Sunset Photography

7 Tips for Better Sunset Photography

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As everyone knows, the best moment to capture the best light is during sunset, this time of day coincides with the best softest light and which gives better colors in the sky and lights. This time of the day is generally between golden hour and blue hour to achieve the best light in the day

Nowadays everyone knows this simple but basic rule of photography, but so how to go further? How can be more professional in this field? Let’s find out in this article through these 7 tips for better sunset photography

1 Scout the Location Before Shooting

Scouting of the location is the requirement of a professional photography, as regards the main difference is made to arrive early and leave late the location. This simple advice will drastically increase the possibility of returning home with a shot of greater interest

Arriving earlier helps to find the right position of the photo, going away late helps to find the right light you are looking for in the shot you’re making. Sometimes it happens that the best moments for shooting are moved from the canonical moments of the golden and blue hour, this is because they are strongly conditioned from weather and location

2 Know the Sun Spot

This is the primary tip for a professional photo, knowing the sun’s position increase the chance to create impactful images. You will understand what the light will do and consequently what your image will look like, in this way you will be able to adjust your photo according to your needs

To find out this position you can help you with many apps, for example I use Photopills that have a very intuitive sun spot section

3 Shoot into the Sun direction

When it is possible I love shooting landscape into the sun direction. Taking the shot into the sun direction greatly increases the possibility of creating impactful images because it includes an important point of energy in the frame

Shooting into the sun direction also allows you to play with the sun’s spikes when it “lands” on some element of the frame, a condition that I love to capture in my landscapes

4 Always Bracket your Shots

When shooting towards sunset the possibility of having images with a great contrast is very high. Usually high contrasted images are very difficult to manage and for this reason I always shoot using bracketing mode

The bracketing mode grants to obtain a wide dynamic range of the scene through a series of exposures, furthermore, this guarantees an excellent result for digital blending of the image in Photoshop

5 Try Differents Focal Lens

As a landscape photographer I have always captured many photos using my wide angle, but during time I learned the importance of experimenting with other points of view and other focal lengths to achieve best results


In some cases, using different lenses instead of wide angle can give better results, it all depends on the location and situation, it is the case of the gallery below that I took in the mountains or in the hills. At a distance I had points that hit the eye with a wide angle it would not have been the same results

6 Focus on Composition

Everything said above is important but it is nothing compared to a good composition, this is the main tip that allows you to create an impactfull landscape. Don’t always focus yourself on shooting at eye level, include the right portion of the sky / foreground in your photo and balance the elements for a perfect composition. On this topic I have written a specific guide that I recommend you go and read called 7 Composition guidelines for better landscape photography

7 Luminosity Masking

Luminosity masks are the best way to bring out the best on your sunset images, using luminosity masks and digital blending can easily include in your image all the main elements of your shots and create a balanced images with a full dynamic range

You can read more about luminosity masks in many articles of this site and you can take a look better at them on my dedicated guide mastering luminosity masks. Don’t forget to going deepen downloading my FREE panel for Photoshop and if you want to go deepen you can discover TTS Pro for easy and professional digital blendings


The Power of Blue Hour Photography

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Some time ago I wrote an article on how to shoot during the golden hour, this is usually the best time of the day to shoot sunsets with the best and most powerfull conditions for photography. However golden hour does not always provide stunning results, it may happen that the weather is not good, or with a flat sky. In all these cases blue hour is a very good alternative

But blue hour is more than that, it depends on what are you looking for but in most cases can be to prefer to golden hour. So we see in this article the power of blue hour photography and when exploit it

1. Enhance Mood

The aspect that I prefer about blue hour is the mood of the images, the blue hour manages to give a unique atmospheres that no other time of day can give. In all these cases especially with the help of dramatic clouds it is a unique way to deepening the mood of images

2. Long Exposure

With coming dusk the exposure time lengthen, taking advantage of this conditions is the key point of blue hour, long exposure can completely transform the scene. For example in landscapes to benefit from the movements of clouds or water, in cityscapes with light trails

3. Combine Blue Hour with Golden Hour

Another aspect I love about blue hour is the chance to mix it with golden hour. In every sunset there is always a moment where the golden hour gives way to blue hour. The mood contains the power of blue hour and the warm as golden colours on the horizon

4. Light Trails

Light trails are one of the strongest composition of long exposure photography, especially the cityscape are particularly suitable for this kind of photos. Usually light trails are made during the blue hour, for this reasons it gives the chance of mixing the colors of blue hour and the yellows of city lights, two complementary and attractive colors for the viewer

5. Reflections

Blue hour is a great chance to capture reflections on the water, no matter if in the city or shooting landscape, the result is sure. During blue hour, reflections are amazing and taking advantage of this time of the day is the right time to deal with it

6. Look for Unique Light

Sometimes when the light is falling down a beautiful light can emerge, it’s a totally random and unexpected look that often occurs on very cloudy days but can completely transform your shots. This is the case of my photo taken in Amalfi when a coming storm contrasted with the last colors of the sunset creates a stunning and a unique light

7. Digital Blend

I’ve spoken about the chance to combine golden hour with blue hour while shooting, but we can do this also using Photoshop. In the image you see I have digital blended two different images with different lights, the warm colors of the golden hour and the cold one that characterizes blue hour, in a time that runs between about 30 minutes

8. Emphatize Blue Colours

It can be useful to increase the blue tones of the blue hour in our images, this to make images that are not in enough blue mood in order to increase the dark/blue atmosphere of our photo

We can proceed with the increase of the blue through the use of camera raw blue tones slider or through the use of Photoshop filters. Using TTS Pro Panel there are functions to increase the blue hour such as the golden hour through the application of selective filters that take advantage of luminosity masks


How to Find top Photography Spots

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How to find top photography spots

 

Giuseppe Sapori - Infinity Meteora

It happens to all to want to go to some nice place to photograph, to have it in front of our eyes and to take all the beauty of a place that, until that moment, we have only seen in web pictures or in a few postcards. In photography, a  landscape, a particular view, a position can radically change the final result of a photo, and this also affects much of the final result. When I traveling into a place to photograph the scene, I want to be sure that the angle from which I’m taking it, is one of the best if not the best possible, weather and light conditions on the course…

Then I decided to create a little guide to share with you what are my main activities and ways to achieve my top photography spots:

Whatch internet images

It’s the first things you do, probably before your trip. It is probably the fastest way to know your goal if supported by a tour scoured to understand what are the main spots of our location.

Look at the postcards

First, basic … at least I need inspiration, then do a tour the night before in the gift shops and look at the postcards of the place. In these pictures you can find beautiful images of the place where you are, photographed in the best locations. Usually I take inspiration from here and start to think about where the photographer could find  as he took that picture.

Speak with local people

If you find nice and avaiable people, sometimes this solution may be the best of all, in the course of my travels I have found many useful tips on the best places to admire a beautiful sunset, a  panoramic view with the advice that only a local can know.

 

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Ok I know the spot. But how reach it?

Sometimes it can be easy sometimes more complex depending on where you are in the cities, often best views are given by the city itself and other times to get a good view you need to look a bit ‘more, we see how to extricate inside of a labyrinth of possible scenarios.

– Take on the rooftop bar / restaurant

Specially  in the perched villages  as this is the best solution, the restaurant with the beautiful view also gives a fantastic terrace where you can have all the best pictures of the place without people or TV antennas in front of your goal. I move often into these places to see if they make me take pictures from their terrace, sometimes I sit down for a glass of wine, with minimal expense you will take a great loot.

– Take an excursion / tour

This is  a  not cheap solution  but that saves you a lot of hassle. It’s important to check the validity of the tour you are doing but if the route is good you can easily admire a sunset, somewhere particular with no worry, leading you with a van in the best spots possible to photograph it.

– Rent a car / motorcycle / scooter

If the selected site is located outside of residential areas it can sometimes be almost essential travel there by car. Imagine a place of unspoilt nature at sunset coincides with the dark and often even in areas not well served by public transport, although this is a solution that does not particularly like (I like to turn on with local transports) but sometimes can be important to see with all calm all the beauties of the place and look for the best spot.

– Try to get there before

In any case, stay always in place before, can sometimes be useless at times it may be necessary to understand where position yourself, adjust the camera, take your time, do things slowly. Photographing is sometimes like to fish you have to wait for the right time and if it goes well and if you have time also to go back the next day.

Be prepared also to some climbing  out of the program, I started as a simple photographer now I become  little hiker. ; D


The Sundownhill

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Giuseppe Sapori - The SundownhillHere’s another sunset from the Amalfi Coast. The cliff on the left is the last part of the beach walkable… What you see at the bottom of the image is an old Norman tower, now it is a well-known and prestigious restaurant in the area.

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The Ending Tide

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Giuseppe Sapori - The ending Tide

When I took this picture I was in the bottom of a cliff near the Norman tower in Maiori, on the beautiful Amalfi coast. I stayed sthrough the rocks in this place for several minutes to photograph

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Evening Love

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Giuseppe Sapori - Evening Love

In this post I want to first tell you that my absence was caused by a lot of work lately has given me a lot to do 🙂  This post has been twinned with the previous one, in fact, just a few meters from the Sant’Angelo bridge there is this beautiful view of Rome in the evening with the dome of St. Peter in the background. I took this HDR on the same day, posizionandomi in this case on the stairs leading down to the river in this case I made 3 shots and made entirely with the luminance masks using Photoshop.

 TECHNICAL STUFF

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 (Shot at 14mm)

ISO: 100 at f/10

3 Shots (-2; 0; +2)

Software: Photoshop


Dark Reflections

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Giuseppe Sapori - Dark Reflections

This is the Cathedral of Naples, the city’s main cathedral. It is one of the largest basilicas of the city is also home to the oldest baptistery of the West Europe. It is in this place that takes one of the most incredibleand important cities, the dissolution of the blood of San Gennaro kept in special ampoules. Religious facts aside, I was struck by the biggest of this cathedral as well as the high ceilings and very silent this atmosphere with very low lights, much of the light that filtered in through the windows of the nave in fact came up. I made this HDR with a single click freehand obtained with the technique of HDR 32-bit.

TECHNICAL STUFF

Lens: Sigma Fisheye (10mm f 2,8)

ISO: 100 at f/2,8

1 Shots

Software: Lightroom, Photoshop


The way through the sunset

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On my first day in Bled I was so excited to be in this place and to admire the beauty of this lake. So the first day here, I travelled far and wide around the perimeter of the lake with camera and tripod on my shoulder looking for some nice landscape to take.

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The Golden Boats

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Sunset at the Marseille’s harbor, a fisherman tries to find something in the waters of the harbor, I honestly do not know if I ever eat a fish caught in the harbor

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Watching the Stars Indoor

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The Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde in Marseille, during my trip by car in Provence. Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde its interior features numerous votive

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Site Founder

Hi, my name is Giuseppe Sapori, a professional photographer and author of this website, created by yours truly to show my work and share with you the techniques I use. My expertise is in the field of Landscape Photography... (Read More)

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