Sensational sunset portraits made easy
Remember that time you and your family were down at the beach, local park or back deck with the panorama vista? It was the end of a gorgeous day, everyone was happy and relaxed AND as if in recognition of your amazing day, the sky puts on the show of it’s life! The sunset is amazing! Naturally out comes the camera’s and iPhones and everyone snaps away trying to capture that magic in the perfect photo – kids are lined up, families scrunching together in front of natures most spectacular back drop.
Except the photos are crap.
Either you’ve captured the sky at it’s best, but you can hardly see the family, or, the family look OK but the sunset is washed out, a mere shadow of reality.
Taking portraits at sunset with natural light is hard. Really hard. What if there was a few simple tricks you could use to make the most of that beautiful moment? Every time. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back!
The key is to look at the light! The difference in light between the sunset and the subject is normally too great for the camera to capture both. You need to make sure your subject has some light falling on their face. With natural light (no flash), this will often mean your subject turning slightly towards the sunset, like the boy above. Can you see how some light from the setting sun is falling on his face? In the image below, the kids are facing away from the sun, there is no light falling on their faces, so we can’t see them well at all.
So next time, look to the light for great sunset portraits.
What if you want to take a silhouette?
Brilliant idea, I love silhouettes, and they’re often the simplest and most powerful image to take in natural light at sunset. But for my money, if your taking a sunset silhouette, you need some action rather than a staid standing poses (after all we can’t see the subjects eyes or smiles). Luckily, kids and action come hand in hand 🙂
If you’d like to learn more, as well as a few quick tricks you can do in lightroom that will really lift your sunset portraits, check out my new video guide: Sensational Sunsets. I’ve put together a video guide to take you step by step through shooting sunsets, as well as walking you through basic lightroom edits to take your sunset portraits to the next level!
Sensation sunsets guide
(This is an instant download)