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10 Tips for Magnificent Sunset Photography

I dare you to spend time on the water this Summer and not take a sunset photo. It’s virtually impossible to resist, but so often the image we capture doesn’t do the original scene justice. What went wrong? It’s time to tackle sunset (and sunrise!) photography with 10 Tips for Magnificent Sunset Photography before you set sail on a cruise or dig your toes in the sand this Summer.

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  • Plan Ahead 1 of 10
    Plan Ahead
    Get there early so you have time to scope out the best angles and exposure but mostly so you don't miss the best light, also don't rush off, sometimes the best shot is a few minutes after the sun disappears.
    Photo courtesy of Kristen Forster.
  • Composition 2 of 10
    Composition
    The rule of thirds. Place the horizon line 1/3 up or down in frame, not dead center, for interest. Also place other objects like a silhouette off-center.
    Photo courtesy of Erin's Creative Energy.
  • Exposure 3 of 10
    Exposure
    If you have a point-n-shoot, see if you have a sunset setting and try it out. If you can control exposure, try a variety of exposures. Often auto exposure will read the bright sun and the sky will be under-exposed. Play with it.
    Photo courtesy of Kimberly Furdell.
  • Turn off White Balance 4 of 10
    Turn off White Balance
    Auto white balance may try to "correct" the beautiful red and orange tone of your sunset and make it neutral.
    Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Yuill.
  • Tripod 5 of 10
    Tripod
    If you travel with a tripod. this would be the time to break it out for longer exposures.
    Photo courtesy of Jennifer Burns.
  • Focus 6 of 10
    Focus
    I rarely use manual focus but the low-light and lack of a "subject" might give auto focus trouble. Be prepared to go fully manual.
    Photo courtesy of Kimberly Furdell.
  • Turn around 7 of 10
    Turn around
    Sunsets create gorgeous lighting on everything around you. Turn around and grab a few shots of the scenery or your gorgeous family.
    Photo courtesy of Jacinda Boneau.
  • Go vertical 8 of 10
    Go vertical
    Sunset shots are almost always horizontal. Go vertical to capture a dramatic sky.
    Photo courtesy of Jan from Wilkinson Ranch.
  • Reflection 9 of 10
    Reflection
    Sunset shots are often on the water. Take note of the clouds, sun & boats reflecting and use them to add interest to your shot.
    Photo courtesy of Ashley Geiger.
  • Sunrise 10 of 10
    Sunrise
    Everyone has sunset photos but it takes dedication to be ready to capture the equally gorgeous debut of the day.
    Photo courtesy of Cherish Bickel Photography.

These gorgeous photos sent in by our Prudent Baby readers are making me wish I were out on the water!

A big thanks to Norwegian Cruise Line for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Also on Babble:
All Things Nautical: 25 Projects for Home and Fashion

11 DIY Cover-Ups for a Cruise or the Coast

 

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