How to make a success of your photos of sunsets

The sunset photo is a must-have for a summer vacation. Here are some tips to become master in the art of photographing these moments of splendor.

The good moment

Leave an hour before sunset or sunrise, just to find the best place possible (remember that the sun sets in the west). To avoid damaging your eyes, use your preview screen rather than looking directly at the sun. The sun is gone? Stay anyway! The 20 minutes after sunset often provide a magical light show.

The sun is secondary

The trap of the sunset is to make the same picture each time. Here are some composition tips for taking unique photos:

  • Your main subject is not the sun, as beautiful as it is.
  • Never center the sun.
  • Play on shadows, backlit and foregrounds.

Shown against the light, the silhouette of a boat, a fisherman or a palm tree will stand out clearly in your photo, giving it a lot of relief and making it more interesting, especially if you respect the rule of thirds. If you want to highlight something close to your lens or show details against the light, use your flash.

Sunset mode

Many devices offer a “sunset” mode whose settings are made to preserve the shimmering colors of these moments. Try it and, if the result is too dull to your taste, go back to the manual settings below.

Good manual settings

Here are the perfect settings for your photos to make all the beauty of these golden hours:

  • Exposure: to achieve a beautiful against-day, put the sun outside your frame and point your device on the sky, near the place where the star was. Hold the shutter button down halfway, and frame your subject with the sun before taking the picture.
  • Exposure time: do different tests. The longer the exposure time, the more the sky and clouds will matter in your photo.
  • ISO: choose a low brightness setting (100 or 200 ISO) when the sky is bright. Increase it as the brightness decreases.
  • White Balance: Set it to “daylight” to keep warm colors or “cloudy weather” if your photos look dull.

6 photo sharing services with friends

Do your photos clutter the memory of your smartphone? Share them directly with your friends from your computer or smartphone. In addition, these services often allow you to edit, arrange and sort your photos before sharing them. This is essential!

Instagram: for mobiles

It is the favorite application of amateur photographers who are equipped with a smart phone. Thanks to its filters, it allows you to edit photos and add vintage or retro effects. Instagram is very simple to use: your photos appear on your personal page and can be shared directly with your friends by your smartphone, via Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare or Tumblr.

Picasa: sharing with circles of friends

Very intuitive, Picasa allows you to retouch or crop your photos or remove red eyes directly online or on your computer. All you have to do is sort them and put them in an album, or add a title or prepare a slideshow. Photo sharing is easy for all Google + users, but anyone can view your photos as long as you’ve invited them by email. The storage capacity is approximately 1 GB; beyond that, you must pay to benefit from a pro version.

Flickr: the reference

This is the preferred service for photo enthusiasts who want to store and share their photos. With Flickr it will be easy to upload and manage your photos online: you can enter tags, titles or descriptions for each image, and the update is done automatically. Another big advantage of Flickr: you have the opportunity to see photos of what is currently the largest database of amateur photos on the web. In addition, Flickr now offers 1TB of free storage space.

Joomeo: friendly and in French

This service in French offers the same features as its competitors, both in editing and sharing. This service is very appreciated; explanations guide step by step the user throughout the upload or to make a slide show with music or effects. User-friendly, it allows you to share your photos with your friends, to whom you can assign a password to secure your photos.

500px: we are a photographer!

500px allows you to host, share and even sell your photos. You can create a wall or launch your portfolio blog for free. The true over 500px is the quality of the photos presented by the community: real wonders. You can take the opportunity to display your best shots in beauty and share them with friends or with the world. Via 500px, you can also follow your favorite photographers. If you like photography, this is the box you need.

Amalgram: local and rallying

Based in Quebec, the Amalgram service has been specifically designed to facilitate the sharing of photos taken during group events. Do you want to document your last family bike ride, your best friend’s wedding or a convention abroad? Just create a private group and invite the participants. After choosing a password, all guests will be able to add their own pictures, see those of others and leave their comments. An account gives the possibility to deposit 150 photos for free, and a scanning service allows to give a second life to photos preserved for a long time: enough to gather a lot of memories!

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