How planning ahead helps you get your very best sunset images, every time!
Hi guys, Brent here with a fun little video I made about how I go about getting the best sunset images I can before I even get out to my location.
I’m sitting on the balcony at home, just down the road from Birubi Beach, having a look at the beautiful sunset that is fast approaching. I was out kiteboarding earlier (another passion of mine) and because of the strong breeze, I know it’s going to be an amazing sunset and I want to head down to the beach and get some really great images!
But I’m not going to just grab my camera and go. I’m going to take a few minutes to think about my vision and what I need to take with me to capture that. Watch now to learn my thought process as I get prepared for this epic shoot!
In this episode:
(0:32) – Conceptualize Your Images Ahead of Time
(0:53) – Plan for Success
(2:35) – Realizing the “Dream”…Image, That is!
(2:59) – Summary: What You’ve Learned
Conceptualize Your Images Ahead of Time
Before going out, I always think about what kind of images I want from my photoshoot. I consider the conditions and what it is I’m shooting. This gives me a good idea of what I’ll need to take with me.
Because I already know there are big waves, I know there are going to be surfers. Where there are waves, there are always surfers!
The offshore wind will be creating spray off the waves, so I know I want to get photos of the surfers on the waves with the spray shooting off into the setting sun.
Plan for Success
Now that I know what kind of images I want to get, I have to plan what to take with me!
To get the beautiful sunset and landscape, I’m going to need a wide-angle lens. I’ve got my 17mm lens with my professional DSLR. But I also want to get detailed images, maybe some close to the surfers, as well as be able to zoom in and fill the frame with the sun. For that, I’m going to need my 100-400mm zoom lens.
The zoom lens is great for capturing the surfers in action. And it’s also great for shooting the sun over the water with the spray from the waves in front of the sun, like this:
Realizing the “Dream”…Image, That Is
I ran out of time to use the wide angle, but I was able to the zoom lens to capture these stunning images; the beautiful ball fire sinking into the water, the waves breaking in front of it, and the spray blowing off behind the waves.
To get these gorgeous photos, here is what I did:
- Conceptualized the kind of images I wanted to take
- Chose the right equipment to create these images
- Chose the best location for what I preconceived in my mind
- And, last but not least, hoped for the best!
By being prepared, you won’t waste time looking for things to shoot or not knowing what to do. You’ll get straight to what you want, get it, and then head home (to edit those gorgeous pictures)!
So there you have it…what goes through my head before I go on a photoshoot!
Let me know in the comments section below if you have any questions and I’ll get back to you!
Did you enjoy this article? Check out these related articles, too:
- Sunset Image Edit in Lightroom
How to Edit a Sunset Image in Lightroom (from start to finish)
- Birubi Beach Sunset
The most amazing sunset I have ever photographed!
- Birubi Sunset Surf
Stunning stormy sunsets
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Be sure to check out my Complete Set of 22 Sunrise/Sunset Photo Recipe Cards – The quickest and easiest way to become a better, more confident photographer, and get the perfect sunrise and sunset photo every time.
Hi Brent! your videos are great and help a lot ! However, I only have a point and shoot camera as of now and need some guidance. Can i send you the pictures i have clicked by any chance just to know what you think of them or how i can improve?
Don’t worry if you only have a point and click, you can still create some great photography – and I’m working on a travel photography series which looks at how you can use you point and shoot on location. I’m about to launch a membership club, where you can submit images for me to look at and give you positive critiques. Would you be interested? Brent
Yes definitely! 😀
Hi Brent, I do really enjoy your videos, and I was going to say the same as chris. giving the camera setting is really helpful. I really enjoyed when you were doing the portrait shots and giveing exposures.
lucky you being on the beach.
I love living near the beach – surf and kiteboard whenever I can. B
Great shot – I started to ask about the settings – but I notice your reply to Chris. Thanks for all the information and tips. These videos are great when it comes to pushing “us” to think outside of the areas we normally shot in. rwb
Wanted to say thank you for your great tips! You are doing an awsome job at getting straight to the point. In this case the idea of getting the concept first.
I am taking pictures only as a little hobby, my main interest is sportsclimbing. The problem there is to get to the point where you want to be as a photographer (the beginners usually only take shots of “butts on the wall”). And, since the action is sometomes quite fast, you need to be quick… I wonder if you have any ideas for this sort of shootings… You can see some pctures on my homepage, if you really are interested (I have an interview-series with photographers) we could do an onterview with you!
Well, back to my initial plan: THANK YOU!!!
Pleasure Stefan. That would be a great thing to photography – sports climbing, love a challenge. I suspect you will need to be hanging by your legs, chest to the rock and photographing down. Not easy. Brent
Well, you do have a harness and can move around a little, depending on the rigging-effort you are willing to take (how many ropes and such for the photographer). But the main problem is that everything is so fast. The movement, the eyes, the rope, background etc. all needs to be arranged, but if you “fake” the position of the climber, you can see the missing tension in the moves….
Anyways, I am off to the Island of Teneriffa, will keep trying there and if you want, I´ll show yu some of my pics!
Sir/ Coach I’ve always been watching ur informative videos n they’ve really helped. I literally take u as my mentor as I love clicking nature , but as destiny had I lost my poit n shoot cam In my cuzins wedding hall. So @ da moment I’m collecting money for another camera which ibe already set my eyes on….id love to meet u personally coachsomeday wen I cm to Australia
Good luck with finding a new camera. Brent
Like your sunset shots, would find the video more helpful if you were to give some setting info, what ISO, F stop, speed, were you using Vivid in the camera, etc.
i’m a bit surprised you didn’t recommend using a tripod, but I guess the sppeed was very fast so a tripod was not required.
Thanks Chris. Settings: Shot in Manual Mode 1/400sec (shutter speed faster cause of long lens) at f/5.6 (widest aperture for that lens) at ISO 320 using landscape picture style & jpg/RAW so that I have more control to edit in Light Room. All of this is all explained in detail in my Amazing Sunset Photography Course, plus much more. Enjoy. Brent
yes, your tips are helpful, and I’m enjoying your beautiful images.
Great shots Brent ! I need to get out and shoot some of my own and am hoping to this weekend. Thanks for all your tips, they are very informative and I appreciate it.
How did you look at the sun to frame the shot / did you use live view ??
Hi Mark, I use the centre focus point and focus on the wave and then re-compose and shoot. Looking through the viewfinder. Brent
No worries Helena. Glad you are inspired to get out there. Brent