Orlando Sunrise by Karam

by Karam
(Orlando, Fl, USA)

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I took this picture from my backyard.
I used my 14 megapixels bridge DSLR style camera.

It was 7:50 pm.

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Birthday parties take on many forms. And it seems to me that a little knowledge in advance will give you a clue as to what to expect.

Take for example a toddler's birthday party. There'll be lots of noise, lots of parents worried that their child is about to do something that warrants a hospital visit, and sugar – lots of sugar!

At the other end of the spectrum there is Great Aunt Mabel's 91st birthday party. More of a low key affair I suspect. A lot less noise, a lot less sugar, and a strong possibility that you will be required to drink a glass of sherry in honour of the nonagenarian. Whether you like sherry or not.

So, a little thought in advance can do wonders for keeping your expectations in check. It also gives you the opportunity to prepare appropriately.

So what does this have to do with photographing sunsets? Well, think of a sunset, conjure up an image of one in your head right now. Is it vibrant and full of colour? Or is it a bit more low key?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that your sunset image had deep rich colour, possibly a palm tree and quite likely some water.

Your sunset was probably a sugar fuelled riot of colour. I doubt it was a bland low key picture. More akin to a toddler's birthday than Aunt Mabel's.

Unfortunately I can't help but feel that Karam's sunset is just too bland. There's a lack of colour, no water and very little at all that makes me linger over the photo.

Karam hasn't given us very much information with his submission so I'm not sure on what he was hoping to achieve. But to help anyone with sunset photos here are some tips:
  • Choose a sunset with some colour – if the one you're looking at is a bit grey and washed out come back another day or...

  • ...wait. When the sun sets the colours get richer and richer, and then it's gone. If you peak too soon you'll capture it before it gets to its best.

  • Something in the foreground. Trees always work well and Karam has some in his photo. Aim to get them on the edge of the photo though, not in the middle – after all the sky is the star of the photo, not the tree.

  • Any water nearby? The reflection in water can really add some punch to a sunset pictures.

  • If you have the ability to do so on your camera underexpose the photo a little. This creates a richer image. Have a look here for more on understanding exposure.

Hopefully these tips will help anyone out there who has struggled to get a good sunset shot.

Thanks for the submission Karam,

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