A FEW RECEPTIONS TO HELP WHEN SHOOTING SUNSETS
Sunrises and sunsets are what all people take off. Struck by the grandeur of nature at the time of sunset, we try to quickly get out any camera and capture the magic of what is happening. But to make this moment unforgettable is not so simple, because the scene being shot is quite contrasted, because there is sun in the frame, which means that in any case there will be a big difference between the bright areas of the image and the dark.
In order to find yourself in a situation where the soul demands to take a picture, not just press a button and rely on chance, but get an acceptable artistic result, it is worth familiarizing yourself with our material. This article will give you a couple of tips on what to look for in specific evening shooting conditions and get a stunning sunset with a “presence effect” for the audience.
The results will not be deplorable, and the images will go to the album with the best frames, and not to the basket, if you master several tricks. About them tells a professional California photographer Dan Eitreim (Dan Eitreim), who often writes for educational portals.
Why exposure is important
Exposition is the basic characteristic of any genre in photography. The ability to find and use the right value is attributed almost to the basic skill of an experienced photographer. If you do not learn this (not as difficult as it seems), then you will always have to trust the automatic settings of the camera. It is boring and does not give any scope for creative expression.
At first, the beginner gets photos in which the sun goes out well, but the rest of the picture turns out to be almost black. How to keep the crimson, orange, fiery (and all other) shades of sunset? Indeed, without them, work completely loses its meaning.
For what happened in the photo (a slurred dark picture) the camera’s exposure meter is responsible. This device (there are built-in or external varieties of it), which instrumentally measures the exposure and determines the correct parameters – shutter speed and aperture number. It is also “responsible” for the level of image contrast. The brightness is determined using the lens: based on the amount of light that hits it, the exposure meter sets different values for the exposure. By default, it is set to an average level and provides high-quality shooting in not too bright or dark conditions.
The exposure meter reads the amount of light that the camera picks up and sets the exposure somewhere in the middle of the scale. However, at sunset one bright spot – the sun – enters the frame, in comparison with which all other details are dark. The exposure meter “washes” them, and in the photo the details are smeared, blacken and become indistinguishable, since the exposure meter takes into account only the light of the sun, on the basis of which the exposure is set, and all details except the Sun’s disk turn black.
The midpoint of the scale (the so-called 18 percent gray) defines “half way” from absolute darkness to full exposure of the frame. There are many scientific essays that describe both the process and the effect of it. In the opposite direction, this, by the way, also works: if you set the brightness of the earth, sky and landscape beyond the “reference point”, the sun will fade and lose the uniqueness of colors.
How to fix it
The main problem is to combine darkness and light, or rather, the saturation and brightness of the sun and the “darkness” of the surrounding landscape. There is a good way to reconcile mismatched parameters: you need to set the exposure based on the color and brightness of the sky. Moreover, you need to take several specific points: where the sun does not fall into the frame. In this case, the sky will have a brightness close to the average (18 percent gray) indicator, and the exposure can be set as correctly as possible. In this case, the point should be close to the disk. Once again, we will put everything together: take the brightness of the sky for the reference point so that the sun is behind the scenes, but at the maximum approximation to it.
With indicators that are set in this way, you can shoot any frame arranged at the request of the photographer. Now, the sky, and clouds, and color transitions on them will be reflected exactly as we would like. You can go further: take this landscape as a starting point and experiment with settings. It is permissible to proceed from the illumination of the earth, the level of saturation of the image with the sun in the frame and outside it. Compare the result: this is a good way to understand how the exposure meter works.
With the help of experiments with the camera settings, you can achieve border lighting, which will make the picture spectacular, unusual, reveal the landscape, even the most familiar, from a non-trivial side. It must be remembered that during sunset shooting the main task of the photographer is to preserve his specificity: the contrast of darkness and bright, dramatic colors of the sky. Then the photo will impress not only the author, but also the audience admiring the talent of the photographer.