Photographic tips on shooting sunsets.
Stunning cloud formations greeted us at Todra Gorge last week just as we arrived as part of our photography tour itinerary. Ever wondered why sunsets are have a red glow to them. Here’s why…
The red colour in the sky at sunset (and sunrise) is due to an effect called Rayleigh scattering. When sunlight enters the earth’s atmosphere, air and water vapour absorbs part of the light scattering it. White sunlight is composed of light waves of different colours, whereas blue light has the shortest wavelength and red light has the longest. The short-wavelength blue light is easier to be scattered. The sun is very close to the horizon during sunset. Sunlight must pass through a thicker atmosphere in order to reach the ground. Most of the blue light has been scattered away and red light remains. Therefore the sun appears red during sunset.
In the absence of cloud formations, for sunset photos to work beyond snapshots, there needs to be foreground interest, a silhouette of a person works particularly well. Other things to think about include using manual focus instead of the auto system as sometimes the auto focus doesn’t work as the camera has to hunt for a subject as particles in the sky are not sufficient, so switching to manual focus and focusing on infinity will help here. Don’t forget to zoom in first to focus.
Do not over expose the sky and give emphasis to the sun. Silhouettes of objects can be made by keeping the picture metering with a strong back light source, creating under exposure for front objects. It is also recommended to set the camera to the smallest aperture to control the sun’s halo running the photo. A smaller aperture size will give more of a starbust quality. Do pay attention to shooting and looking directly at the sun as this is risky. Staring at the sun can cause eye damage and staring through a lens with the naked eye that is potentially a magnifier will increase this risk plus the camera will be damaged. I recommend framing up with the sun just out of shot and repositioning to take the photo, whilst not looking directly at the sun but it’s best advised to consider including the sun once it’s at it’s lowest point. Winter light is often the best time of year to find interesting cloud formations particularly in Morocco. Photography Holidays and Photography Tours with us can be seen here.