Let’s Look! Camera Setting for Sunset Photography

Let's Look! Camera Setting for Sunset Photography

Underwater photography is best and it seems like a very different world but once you are hanging around on the beach sunset does mesmerize us! Beautiful Sunset photograph is one thing that every landscape photographer wants to add in their portfolio. It might look simple, but clicking a perfect photo is quite tricky. Sunset photography is all about clicking photographs while making best use of available natural light and adjusting the angle in accordance with the light source.

Guidelines for sunset photography

A right tool and accessories make clicking photos during sunset quite easy. Tips for sunset photography.

  • Finalize the location of the sunset where you want to click photos.
  • Check the weather forecast for your selected location. See if its going to be a clear sky, cloudy or any downpour is expected. If clouds are expected, don’t panic. Clouds during sunset would add more beautiful colors to the photographs.
  • If you are planning to capture some special scenery, prepare accordingly. Carry all the required accessories.
  • Check the exact time of sunset. This way you can be there before sundown and can prepare and set up your shot. There are many photography apps which can help you calculate various in-depth information related to sunset photography like shadow lengths, angle of sunset, etc.

As per the experts of Northern Lights Photography“, while shooting sunset landscape, making sunset your subject is not compulsory. Some of the best sunset landscape pictures are the one where the photographer has captures the effect of light of setting sun on the nearby things. Sunset landscape can be about capturing the changes going on in the surroundings along with the beautiful changing colors of the sky during the sunset.

What are the Best Cameras For Sunset Photography?

For sunset photography, you can buy any digital camera which allows manual control of the camera settings. If you are planning to buy a camera for landscape photography, its advisable to look for some specific features.

Dynamic range: It refers to the camera’s capability to capture the details in a single frame. This includes the details of both dark and light areas. A camera with a wider dynamic range is good for landscape photography. Sony A7, Canon EOS R and Nikon D850 are known for their dynamic range.
What are the Best Lenses For Sunsets?

Experienced landscape photographers can manage to click beautiful sunset pictures with their regular kit lens. Different kinds of lens add a different edge to your sunset landscape photography.

Wide-eyed lens: Capturing photo using a wide-eyed lens is quite popular in sunset photography. This lens allows the photographer to a vast area of surrounding in the photo.

A telephoto lens: This lens can be quite helpful if you are planning to make the sunset as your subject. This lens does the work of a magnifying glass. If you are looking to make the sun look larger in your photo, then take a shot using the wide-eyed lens.

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You may even use prime lenses for unset photography. This lens gives sharp images. Also if you are planning to click portrait or silhouette keeping sunset as the background, then prime lens should be your first choice.

Irrespective of the type of lens you are using, one basic thing that a photographer should do is clean the lens. While shooting a sunset our camera and all related accessories do get dirty. Lenses are the first thing which attracts dust particles. If you click a photo with a dirty lens, it would spoil the image. All your efforts will go in vain. Hence, cleaning your lens before the shoot would help you in saving lots of your time and effort during editing.

Camera Settings for the Perfect Sunset Pictures:

 – Shoot in Aperture Priority Mode (A or AV on Your Mode Dial)

If you are new to sunset photography, shooting in aperture priority mode can make things quite easier for you. In this mode, you just have to set the aperture. Once done, the camera would set the shutter speed accordingly. Set the aperture at a high number. This way you can have more of the surroundings under focus.

 – Exposure Blending

It is very useful if you are not using any filter. In this, you need to shoot 2 exposures. One for the foreground and other for the sky. Once done, you can blend both these exposures using any of the photo editing tools.

 – Put the Camera on a Tripod

Using a tripod is not mandatory for landscape photography. Many photographers consider carrying and adjusting a tripod a tedious job. Well, it does take some time to adjust it, but it’s worth it. The first and foremost aim of using a tripod is to emphasize on the composition. Once it’s done, next comes the exposure. Getting the right exposure is very challenging in sunset photography. Once you have clicked the shot, click more photos by keeping the tripod at different heights.

With the sun going down, the darkness would keep on increasing. This might lower the shutter speed. As a result, clicking photos with the camera in hand might become difficult. however, by keeping the camera on a tripod would not only increase the shutter speed but would also allow you to click photos by keeping the camera steady.

White Balance

You can go for automatic white balance setting. However, if you want to experiment with shade settings, clouds or daylight, you can change the settings manually also.

Use an ND Grad Filter

These filters are available in the following formats:

  • Screw-on format: this is useful when the sun in the center of your frame.
  • Rectangular drop-in format: This is used more widely. Using this can help you get a perfect blend of shadows and highlights in the composition.

Fifty percent of this filter comes without coating whereas fifty percent has a coating on it.
  – Set Your ISO to 100

Higher ISO increases the graininess. Keep the ISO low. This would result in a cleaner photo. 100 is generally considered apt for sunset photography.

– Shutter Speed for Sunrises and Sunsets

If you are using the camera in AV mode, you don’t have to worry about shutter speed. However, if you are clicking photos by holding the camera in hand, you might have to increase the shutter speed to prevent blurring.


Sunsets in itself is a mesmerizing view. Capturing it in your camera will add one of nature’s most beautiful view in your portfolio. Plan your composition and prepare accordingly.

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