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Thread: Taking sunset photos

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    Taking sunset photos

    I was at the local pub yesterday afternoon sitting in the beer garden when I noticed the sun was setting over the mountains I thought this would be a great vantage point to try and take some sunset photos but did not have my camera with me anyway going back this afternoon to try any tips would be of big help to me please would great. I have Nikon D3100 kit lens 18 55, 35 mm and my loan lens
    70 - 300 the mountains look like there would be quiet a few kilometers away but there is clear view to them no trees in the way just mostly paddocks so should get some nice shots any tips please.
    All experts were once beginners

    Nikon D3100 18 55 kit lens Nikon 35 mm Nikon 70 300mm optex tripod



    MWAH! Sandy

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    Always have your camera on hand, I don't leave home without it. Do we get to see some of your photos, I'd love to see them.

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    Sunsets and sunrises are best photographed with a Neutral Density (ND) graduated filters on the front of our camera. These work by darkening the sky, but leaving the foreground bright.

    However, they are not necessary and you can get some great photos without them. Go looking for somewhere with foreground interest. You say there are paddocks. Look for a fence corner, where you can use the line of the fence going of into the distance as a 'leading line' in your photo. Look for an old log to have in the foreground, Maybe a dam? Adding something in the foreground usually lifts a landscape photo from 'just a sunset/sunrise'. Go over to the land and sea scapes forum here on AP, and look at the photos. Now when you find one that you like, analyse it. What is in the photo? What is in the foreground? Where are things placed? are they central, off centre? Where is the horizon (near the bottom, top or in the middle). Is everything in focus, or just one thing? Remember what you discover from this analysis and apply the same to your photos.

    Go out, enjoy taking the photos, and come back and show us the results.
    Last edited by ricktas; 04-07-2011 at 7:36am.
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    Always have your camera on hand, I don't leave home without it. Do we get to see some of your photos, I'd love to see them
    thats the funny thing about it I am the same take it with me every where I go but yesterday I had both memory cards full and not saved on my computer yet so I left camera at home lesson learnt lol oh and yes I will be posting my results good or bad results for CC
    Last edited by Nikkie; 04-07-2011 at 8:01am.

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    Rick I have a Digital high grade lens protect will this help also should I use lens hood yes there is lots of scenery for the foreground logs that have fallen and also a dam I think it will be too hard to get in a fence line but Ill be leaving earlier to set up so ill have a good look around the scenery around is beautiful and that is the funny thing about it I never noticed how beautiful it is around here until I got my cam and now It seems I see everything even a church that is on the highway never noticed it before now I will be going back to take some photos of that as well. thanks for this advice ill go and have a look now at other photos

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    Another thing Nikkie.....make sure you use your tripod and set it to 2sec delay when shooting to avoid camera wobble. "Most" landscape shots will have a smaller aperture, anwhere from f8 to f22.

    The choice of lens will depend on what you find in the forground. Wider lenses (18mm or 35mm) will require something much closer to you to fill the frame that the 70-300mm

    Good luck, just experiment, take plenty of shots and then you can work out what works and what doesn't!
    Shirl
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    I suspect Rick doesn't mean protection filters (Uv filters) as there is a whole long, boring debate about their worth much akin to the debate about if it is correct for the toilet paper to dispense from over or underneath the roll.

    He would be talking about something like the Cokin P series filter system (or Z). It is an bracket you attach to the lens onto which you can then slide sheets of glass (or similar) that have tinting (much like sunglasses) to reduce the glare of the sun. Specifically for sunsets / rises, he is talking about graduated filters, which at the top are darker graduating to clear at the base - that will even out the light balance between top (very bright sky) and bottom (darker ground, often in shadow).

    Without these, a hood is a must..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milbs1 View Post
    Another thing Nikkie.....make sure you use your tripod and set it to 2sec delay when shooting to avoid camera wobble. "Most" landscape shots will have a smaller aperture, anwhere from f8 to f22.

    The choice of lens will depend on what you find in the forground. Wider lenses (18mm or 35mm) will require something much closer to you to fill the frame that the 70-300mm

    Good luck, just experiment, take plenty of shots and then you can work out what works and what doesn't!
    Or use a remote release

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milbs1 View Post
    Another thing Nikkie.....make sure you use your tripod and set it to 2sec delay when shooting to avoid camera wobble. "Most" landscape shots will have a smaller aperture, anwhere from f8 to f22.

    The choice of lens will depend on what you find in the forground. Wider lenses (18mm or 35mm) will require something much closer to you to fill the frame that the 70-300mm

    Good luck, just experiment, take plenty of shots and then you can work out what works and what doesn't!
    Thank you Shirl for this information its going to be a lot of fun and hey if don't get it right the first time its not the end of the world because there will be others but for me planning ahead to do this and not just running to get the camera means I can be set up in lots of time and sit back relax and wait for the beauty to unfold Ill be taking tons of photos and posting them either tonight or tomorrow good or bad for the CC and yes Mr Pod will be coming with me and he will have to work hard to hold Nikkie (Nikon camera) hence my nick name for a good while I love Mr Pod he is my 2nd best friend LoL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    I suspect Rick doesn't mean protection filters (Uv filters) as there is a whole long, boring debate about their worth much akin to the debate about if it is correct for the toilet paper to dispense from over or underneath the roll.

    He would be talking about something like the Cokin P series filter system (or Z). It is an bracket you attach to the lens onto which you can then slide sheets of glass (or similar) that have tinting (much like sunglasses) to reduce the glare of the sun. Specifically for sunsets / rises, he is talking about graduated filters, which at the top are darker graduating to clear at the base - that will even out the light balance between top (very bright sky) and bottom (darker ground, often in shadow).

    Without these, a hood is a must..

    Scotty
    Yes thank you Scotty I was just wondering if the protect lens would make any difference should I leave it on or off as it is suppose to stop things like lens flare although I don't mind lens flare look but have not had any lens flare as yet and lens hood on righto thanks just was not sure about that one either ta

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    Have a read of this


    http://wp.me/pXXY5-2U

    Of course John is an absolute madman


    And on grad filters

    http://wp.me/pXXY5-7n

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    I wouldnt "waste" money on any filters at this stage, as for the protective filter take it off, take a photo, put it on, take a photo - notice any difference ? No ? leave it on. Yes ? Take it off

    Planty of other stuff to sort first.
    Darren
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    I am going to ask a question that may help Nikkie with the Graduated Filter, so I am not actually hijacking this thread btw!!

    I used a graduated filter the other night with a sunset. As soon as I put the Grad on (ND Grad 8 and 4 on seperate occassions, not together), I noticed the camera adjusting the image and the speed (I have it set for Av and ISO 100). I found it hard to see where the grad stopped and started!! Should I be putting the camera into Manual mode? Am I the only one who has had trouble seeing the grad? Maybe I need to go out with someone so they can show me! LOL.

    Anyway, back to Nikkie....hope this hasn't confused you more but, with an answer, has helped in the search for the perfect sunrise/sunset!!
    Monika
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    Ohhh! Them's fightin' words Kiwi! Fightin' words.

    Shooting sunsets without grads is like sex without condoms - you'll probably be ok but, it might end up in disaster.


    The best way to see the end of the grad is to put the camera into LIVE VIEW mode set an exposure then, slide the grad down the slot - you'll see it pretty clearly.

    Scotty

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    No not at all Ms Monny if they can kill 2 birds with one stone that is a good thing and we both get to learn something new good for you for asking

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    will all due respect to Nikki and you Scotty, the OP has barely picked up a camera and is still learning the fundamentals. I wouldnt cal using grad filters etc as part of the basic SLR learning process.

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    Grads certainly are another thing to master!! Just getting your head around how many stops each filter adds is another whole area to learn about. So, Kiwi is really on the right track in saying to that. Get to know your camera, the basics and keep taking shots THEN add filters to your list of things to learn.

    You can always PP the sky or foreground if either is too dark or light!!

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    Ms Monny, if you are shooting in apperture priority or any sort of program mode then assuming you have matrix metering or similar on then any grad filter will adjust the exposure. I would imagine that youll need to meter manually on the brightest part of the image not obscured by the grad. But hey, see, this is the problem, I'm an experienced photographer relatively to most here, but not on landscapes. You cant learn everthing at once.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms Monny View Post

    You can always PP the sky or foreground if either is too dark or light!!
    Bites lip

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    LoL you 2 yes your right kiwi I don't need to add to confession that is why I stopped worrying so much about histograms as well I don't have it open on my cam any more and I don't have it open in my program anymore either I can have a histogram that I think is telling me its in focus or maybe not 100% when I find out its not quiet as good as I thought so histograms can get out of the picture for me for now I am just going to worry about ISO fstops and shutter speed and focus today kiwi you will be happy to hear even tho it was windy outside I took Mr Pod and camera out to play in the garden even tho it was hard with the wind blowing flowers I think in one way it helped me with my focus a bit and trying to learn to get that little dot static I was not 100% successful but I did manage to get it static with a bit of patients I am hoping sunset is not out of experience level or should I say lack of LoL but I just like taking photos of beautiful things one can only try and try again if I get it wrong it wont be the end of the world as there will be another one and many more after that good thing about sunset/rise they will always be there

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