Arranging photo and video sunset shoots are left to chance in Britain as most are spontaneous... but we've always made the most of whatever Mother Nature throws at us. The trip before our most recent coastal walk in Caswell Bay was cold and rainy, our tripod blew over and Miss Nicklin got drenched by the advancing tide (her boots are probably still drying on a radiator somewhere...). Even when the murky sky offers little promise of a dramatic sunset, you can still inject some life into your pictures in a few easy steps...
1. Horizon -> Horizontal?
It sounds obvious as the clues in the name... but it's an easy one to forget when you're focused on the colour. Below we straightened the horizon and cropped the image to place the sun in the centre of the image.
2. Adjust and Experiment with Photo Editing Software
Using photo editing software (we use Lightroom but even Instagram on your mobile will do the trick), we drop the highlights to bring more detail back into the sky and drop the shadow to turn the foreground figures into silhouettes. We then increase the saturation and vibrancy as well as the temperature to warm. This will bring out the golden tones that have been lost. How much you increase/decrease these elements is up to you - have a play around and see what works.
3. Add A Vignette Effect
We then add a slight vignette to the image to draw your eye into the centre and give the sun more radiance.
4. Add A Filter
Finally in Photoshop (but again apps like Instagram and VSCO are handy, see our previous post here) we select in the menu bar 'Image' > 'Adjustments' and then 'Photo Filter' to add warming filter (85) onto the picture. This gives it a nice glowing, coppery effect. We then select 'Filter' > 'Render' > 'Lens Flare' using the 105mm option at around 50% and placing the marker over the sun to create a subtle but effective light burst.
There we have it, four simple steps to boost your sunset photography. Let us know if you've found this useful or have any questions.
p.s. We're delighted to be finalists at the UK Blog Awards in Photography! Thank you for everyone who voted! Winners are announced at the ceremony in April - fingers crossed!