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How to get that perfect exposure for sunsets

| March 8, 2010 | 1 Comment
How many times did it happen to you that when shooting sunsets, what you see is definitely not what you get ? The beautiful and rich sunset colors you see with your eyes look just wrong. Digital Photography Students shares some sunset photography tips on how to fix it.

The problem lies in the automatic exposure mechanism, and the fact that the setting sun can throw your exposure meter way off. However, there is an easy fix. What you need to do is:

aim just above the setting sun, and press and hold your shutter half way, then recompose the photo as intended and then shoot.

Maldivian Sunset

Maldivian Sunset by Grunf911 on Flickr

Make sure that while pressing the shutter half way, that the sun is not visible in the frame. The point is to get the exposure value reading from the sky itself without the sun locked in, and then use it to shoot the photo as originally intended.

Alternatively you could use Auto-Exposure Lock feature (AE-L) if your camera has it instead of half pressing the shutter. Additionally, if you want to get creative with your sunset shot you might want to check out our article:

Digital Photography Tips to Warmer Sunsets

Let us know how it went. Happy shooting.

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Category: Beginners Photography, Photography Tips

About the Author (Author Profile)

Alan Graf is the editor and founder of Digital Photography Student. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, and is also editor of – a Croatian wallpaper archive, and his own photo gallery at

Comments (1)

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  1. wow, that makes sense… I've stayed away from sunsets because sometimes it just doesn't seem to be the right time to shoot now I know it doesn't have anything to do with timing…

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