BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: All About Photography : Photographing Specific Subjects : Taking Sunset and Sunrise Photos

Photography Question 
Willard Andre Hutt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2000

How to Shoot Silhouettes Against a Sunset

How do I adjust the shutter speed to capture action and still get enough light to see images?

To love this question, log in above
12/8/2004 2:08:29 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Your shutter speed will depend upon what type of action you are attempting to capture (i.e., someone walking, someone running, birds flying, etc.). If you are looking to freeze action, something around 1/250 second or faster should cover most scenarios.
To "get enough light", set your shutter to 1/250 and meter off a blue portion of the distant sky (without the sun in the frame), and set your aperture to the recommended setting for that meter reading.
This setting will show your silhouettes against a natural-looking background, and freeze the action of the silhouettes in the foreground.
Note: your depth of field may be shallow with a slow film or low ISO setting.

To love this comment, log in above
12/8/2004 3:10:29 PM

Daryl R. Lucarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/25/2004
  Additional info .... I live at the beach in San Clemente California and I take ALOT of sunsets and I have found also that I usually always underexposure all of my sunset shots by 1/3 to 1 full stop so I get great color saturation..... most the 1/3 stop...if you get greedya nd go to much you will loose to much detail....try it you may like it. Also, just for fun...on a sunset shoot when you stay after until it is getting dark after the actual sunset but with colors in the sky trying taking a images with your white balance set to the "tungsten" filter. this can add a "cool" effect sometimes. (technically, I do not know why, but it does create some great images that have a different feel to them). Daryl Lucarelli

To love this comment, log in above
12/15/2004 4:08:07 PM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.