|Unedited Sunset from One Liberty Observation Deck, Philadelphia, PA|
Here's the garble-de-gook
on taking a sunset photo.
I don't typically shoot in manual
because I would just use the camera's meter to set my settings -
so why not let the camera set it
saving me the step?
Instead, I shoot in either Aperture or Shutter/Time Priority
and let the camera select the alternate setting for a properly exposed image.
If I select the aperture setting, I let the camera select the shutter speed.
If I select the shutter speed, I let the camera select the aperture setting.
When in a pinch,
like when I don't like the camera's selection,
I use Exposure Compensation to adjust the camera's settings.
It's quicker that switching to manual.
In the case of a sunset,
the camera almost always over-exposes the image
giving a washed out look.
To compensate for the camera
not understanding that I am shooting a sunset,
this is my quick fix:
How To Get Rich Sunsets in Camera
1. Frame the sky above the sunset with the viewfinder.
2. Press the focus button 1/2 way,
it doesn't need to focus at this point
you just want the meter reading.
3. Hold your exposure lock button (*on Canon; AE-L on Nikon)
to maintain that meter reading.
4. Recompose/refocus over the sunset keeping
the meter lock button held down.
5. Fire at will.
Your colors will be true-not washout out.
*Once you release the meter lock button,
those settings will be released also.
I do shoot in manual when the lighting is the same
and always when using studio strobes.