Sunsets create dramatic and vivid pictures, but make difficult subjects. You don't have much time to get a good shot, and you must also factor in elements beyond your control, like weather, artificial lights and other people nearby. For the best results, try the following suggestions:
One drawback to taking sunset pictures: you don't control the process, nature does. You can't set up a sunset picture as you do other photos--there's a limited amount of time and you have to make the most of it. A sunset changes minute by minute, as the colors shift and different sections of the sky are lit up. Often, the most brilliant colors occur after the sun disappears. You'll want to catch every shot--get as many as you can and choose the best later. With practice, your photography skills will grow stronger, and you'll find it easier to take quality shots.
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Incorporate other elements.
Sunset pictures are beautiful, but sunset pictures with added elements can be breathtaking. Try including clouds--as the sun sets, it illuminates the clouds, creating a dramatic and colorful background. Clouds add texture and depth to any sunset picture, and patterns created by the clouds add interest. You can also include people, trees or architectural elements, and for added drama, silhouette something in the foreground. Limit the extra details, however: they can take attention away from the sun, which should be the focus.
Use a tripod.
When you're photographing a moving object, you want to keep your camera steady. To prevent blurriness in your sunset pictures, use a tripod to keep the camera in place and the shot in focus. You'll likely be using slower shutter speeds, and keeping the camera still is vital to producing crisp, clear images. Choose a small and sturdy tripod that you can move easily, so you can quickly change positions if you want to shoot a different portion of the sky.