Sunset photos

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Andrew_Hall, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Andrew_Hall

    Andrew_Hall Guest

    Hi everyone,
    I'm a relatively new photographer having just purchased a camera (Nikon
    F80 with a Nikon 24-120 1:3.5-?? VR lens). Next week I'll be climbing a
    mountain (Mt. Beerwah, QLD, Aust) with a few friends to see the sunset,
    and eat some cheese and crackers. I've never had much luck taking
    sunset photos, mainly because the exposure has been all wrong. Any
    tips? (aside from take plenty of film).

    Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Andrew_Hall, Jun 29, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. Andrew_Hall

    Scott W Guest

    I belive you will find that you need to shoot about 2 stops less
    exposure then what you meter is telling you, others might have differnt

    If one of the friends you are climbing brings digital camera you can
    use his setting as a guild to what you would shoot, it would be a good
    idea to both meter off a white piece of paper before doing this to see
    if your meters agree under normal light conditions. The idea is that
    the digital camera user can just keep adjusting his/her setting until
    they get it right, then just copy them, adjusting for differnt ISO
    between their camera and the film you are using. In any case
    bracketing would also be a good idea.

    Scott W, Jun 29, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  3. Andrew_Hall

    Peter Chant Guest

    Something a friend suggested which seems to work provided you want good
    colours in the sky and a silhouette of the ground is to meter off the sky,
    say straight above. This might overcook it slightly but you could bracket.
    Peter Chant, Jun 30, 2005
  4. Andrew_Hall

    That_Rich Guest

    Like the other posters said... meter the sky near the sun, the farther
    away from the sun you take the meter reading, the more the sun will be
    blown-out but the more the sky color will be saturated.... bracket,
    bracket, bracket. Spot metering works great for this. Keep your lenses
    and filters clean to lessen flare and remove any unnecessary filters
    you may use to protect the lens.

    Something else you may consider is filtering. A polarizer will help
    saturate the color, particularly at high elevations although the
    polarizer will be pointed pretty much at the sun so the effects will
    be lessened. Graduated ND filters are great if you want to maintain
    good exposure for the foreground as well. Also a huge array of warming
    filters, enhancing filters, sunset filters Shoot a lot of film,
    bracket and shoot with and without filters. Use a tripod, cable
    release and slow, saturated film. Don't forget to continue shooting up
    to an hour after the sun drops below the horizon... the magic hour :)

    Negative film will have more of an oops factor than slide film. If
    you plan on having your prints made at wal-mart or some such place I
    guarantee the default settings on their machines will ruin your shot
    even if you nail it. Consider using a pro-lab or scan and print
    yourself. If you use a pro lab explain what you were trying to
    accomplish with your shots. Oh... take notes so next time you won't
    need to go through as much trial and error.

    Have fun,

    That_Rich, Jun 30, 2005
  5. Andrew_Hall

    That_Rich Guest

    Oh, forgot the most important thing... don't forget to turn around,
    you'll be amazed at what often happens behind your back :)

    That_Rich, Jun 30, 2005
  6. There have been way too many sunset photos taken. 1,767,834,763 to be
    exact. We do't need any more.
    uraniumcommittee, Jun 30, 2005
  7. Andrew_Hall

    That_Rich Guest

    Andrew Hall has never taken one.

    That_Rich, Jun 30, 2005
  8. Andrew_Hall

    Bob Hickey Guest

    1ST, find the exposure lock button; 2ND, frame the shot; 3RD,move about 1/2
    way down toward the ground and 4TH, push the meter lock button.
    Bob Hickey
    Bob Hickey, Jun 30, 2005
  9. Andrew_Hall

    Andrew_Hall Guest

    Thanks, I'll definitely give those things a go. What kind of film do
    you recommend? I think the only film in my bag at the mement is fugi
    reala and some kind of fugi ISO 160 film.

    Andrew_Hall, Jun 30, 2005
  10. Andrew_Hall

    m II Guest

    I'll NEVER make that mistake again. Thanks for the reminder...

    m II, Jun 30, 2005
  11. Andrew_Hall

    That_Rich Guest

    Hey.... Bob Hickey.
    Welcome back Bob..... been a while.

    That_Rich, Jun 30, 2005
  12. Andrew_Hall

    Don Stauffer Guest

    You've got it. Do you do manual exposure or auto? If auto, note the
    exposure. Then shoot several more shots with varying amounts of
    "compensation" Or, note the auto exposure setting, go manual, up and
    down a few steps. Yep, bracketing DOES work.
    Don Stauffer, Jun 30, 2005
  13. Andrew_Hall

    Bob Hickey Guest

    Thanx,...good to be back. Bob Hickey
    Bob Hickey, Jun 30, 2005
  14. Andrew_Hall

    That_Rich Guest

    The Reala will do fine. Bring plenty of film and if it's a place you
    won't be getting back to soon, bring even more film.

    If you are going to buy more film, try Agfa Ultra 100 or Kodak UC 100.
    I like both for shots like this. The Agfa has great skin tone and
    seems to emphasize green and yellow, Kodak UC stands out with red and
    blue but also produces a nice skin tone. Both films are well saturated
    all across the spectrum and will do great for sunset. Again, the Reala
    will be fine.... it just wouldn't be my first choice.
    *Your* mileage may vary.

    Good luck and have fun.

    That_Rich, Jun 30, 2005
  15. Andrew_Hall

    Justin Thyme Guest

    Reala will be fine. I'd probably even lean toward Superia 100 (the cheaper
    version) as I find it tends to be a little higher in saturation. They'd be
    my first choice in a colour neg film. The 160 film would most likely be
    either NPS or NPC - both are portrait optimised, and don't give quite as
    saturated colours. I'd probably suggest getting a bit of a mix of films and
    trying them all to see which one you prefer. Generally the slower speed
    films will give better results. If you are feeling brave get yourself some
    Velvia slide film. It will show beautiful saturated colours, but being slide
    it is a very unforgiving film.
    Personally I'd suggest sticking with Fuji film, and when you go to get them
    printed, get it done at a frontier digital lab. Using fuji films on a
    frontier lab delivers very accurate colours even without adjustments by the
    operator. When I do my own fuji films I generally need to make no
    adjustments at all. In your case, you'll probably want to ask them not to
    adjust for brightness and colour balance - some of the operators can be
    pretty hopeless - I've found in a lot of cases no adjustment is better than
    what the operator tries to do. If no adjustments are made, you'll be able to
    tell the difference made from your bracketed shots. I've had other lab
    operaters decide my sunset shots were underexposed (I did it deliberately to
    enhance the colours), and have tried to compensate, resulting in ghastly
    grey flat images. I have since been trained on a frontier and have redone
    some of my shots myself with no adjustment and have got the image I intended
    when I shot it.
    Get them to also scan the negs to CD so you can fiddle with brightness,
    contrast, colour balance, saturation etc on your computer, again make sure
    they make no adjustments.
    BTW, there's a lookout just off the bruce highway (it's been a while since
    I've been up that way, but from memory it is white horse mountain?) where
    you have a great view overlooking the glasshouse mountains. If you get the
    chance pop up there one afternoon for some sunset shots with the glasshouses
    in the background. Winter is the best time, as the sunset lines up with the
    Justin Thyme, Jul 1, 2005
  16. Andrew_Hall

    Bandicoot Guest

    The slide film I would use here would be Kodak Ektachrome E100VS. This has
    very saturated colours and is a bit better with reds and oranges than Velvia
    (which I use a lot for other things). It's also _slightly_ more

    In any case, bracket widely, because different exposures of a sunset will
    give you radically differnt results: there is no one 'right' exposure, and
    until you have a lot of experience with both sunsets and the film in
    question, it will be hard for you to tell in advance which exposure will
    give quite the result you are after. If you use print film, I'd suggest
    bracketing in whole stop increments, and maybe two stops each side of your
    'middle' exposure. For slide, bracket in half stops, and for this subject
    try starting with maybe a stop and a half each side - with experience you
    may well find that you need less.

    Bandicoot, Jul 2, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.