by Jeff Goulden
Want to create a unique expression of art, one that no one else can re-create? Try shooting a sunset picture. A sunset, like the snowflake, is one of natures unrivaled creations. There are no two alike! When properly photographed and displayed, each sunset can reveal an exhilarating and incomparable work of art.
For equipment, you will need an adaptable camera (one in which you can adjust the shutter speed and the aperture). Optional equipment might include a tripod and shutter release cable. Also, a telephoto lens can be used to make the sun appear larger in the picture.
Fortunately, sunsets are among the easiest pictures to take because exposure is not a critical factor. I determine my exposure by using the camera to take a meter reading off the brightest part of the sky, excluding the sun. With this reading as a starting point, I then bracket my settings (over and underexpose by one or two f-stops) to get different effects. When using a telephoto lens, do not look directly at the sun. It can harm your eyes.
Foreground objects will appear as strong silhouettes, advantageous to the creative photographer. Trees, boats, rocks and even people can be used as a foreground to frame the picture, creating a strong composition.
Keep on shooting, even after the sun disappears. Some of the most subtle coloring in the sky is seen up to on-half hour after the sun has set. Also, try shooting a sunrise. Remember, it's just a sunset in reverse and the same rules apply.
A great sunset picture doesn't even need to include the sun. Turn around and see what the sun is lighting behind you. Mountains and trees take on a special glow when illuminated by the setting sun.
Whether it's a trip to the ocean or a hike in the mountains, you can return with a unique work of art if you take the time to view and photograph the disappearing sun, the subjects it illuminates and its delicate expression of color.
Jeff's Photo Blog
In this Photo Blog I have combined my 50 year passion for photography and my love of the natural world, creating a portfolio that reveals nature in its pure and simple beauty. I am pleased to share my passion with you through this blog.